Walking is an everyday activity that, unfortunately, can sometimes end with an injury. This may happen if sidewalks are not properly taken care of by those who are obligated to tend to their conditions. When they are not looked after, sidewalks can cause pedestrians to fall and become seriously injured. This may result in concussions, broken bones, spinal cord damage, brain injuries, and more. While the injured party should seek immediate medical attention when they are hurt, legal action may wish to be sought after.
Types of Sidewalk Accidents
There are several ways a person could be injured on an unsafe sidewalk. Possible factors may include:
- Damages such as uneven, cracked, raised, and depressed surfaces
- Poor weather conditions (snow, ice, standing water)
- Slippery substances
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
It is important to know that injuries caused by a sidewalk must be addressed within a reasonable period of time. Similar to other states, certain areas in New York have a time limit regarding cleanup after inclement weather conditions such as snow, ice, or standing water. A successful case may not be possible if the individual was injured during that window because it was a risk to walk during that time. If an injury occurs after that window of time, the property owner of the sidewalk could be held liable for the injury.
Holding another party responsible for an injury as a result of negligence can often be a difficult task. This is why it is important to enlist an experienced attorney to help the case. To pursue a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party must understand who is obligated to care for the sidewalk they were injured on. In New York, the owner of a sidewalk is usually the owner of the property bordering it. The owner can be a private citizen, public store, a private company, or the municipality itself.
Burden of Proof
In order to be successful in a personal injury case, the injured party must show the property owner was negligent in caring for the sidewalk. This requires them to satisfy what is known as the “burden of proof.” To do so, they must present the court with proof that the property owner knew or should have known about the sidewalk’s hazardous conditions and did not fix it. This proof may consist of medical documentation of the injury, pictures of the sidewalk, and any witnesses to the accident.
When an accident happens, people often suffer physically and emotionally. Because of this, the injured party may be eligible to receive compensation for their injury. This compensation exists to cover:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical bills as a result of the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you have been injured in a sidewalk accident and wish to speak with an attorney about your best course of action, contact the Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky today.