Filling a claim for personal injury for a slip and fall on a public sidewalk is a tricky situation. In order to make a claim for personal injury, you must be able to show there was negligence involved. This means not only do you have to prove the sidewalk was in such disrepair as to be “unreasonably safe,” but also that the owner or party responsible (whether the municipality or other government agency responsible for that stretch of sidewalk) knew it posed a danger and didn’t do anything about it.
Once you’ve established there is a case to be made, you will need to decide who is responsible. Local laws determine if it’s the municipality or the property owner or even both. This is when knowledgeable local personal injury lawyers are essential; they will be able to navigate the laws to determine against whom you can make a claim. This may not be easy as some sidewalks may be under different jurisdictions depending on where they go (for example, if a sidewalk crosses a state or federal highway while in a town limits). If your claim is against a municipality, you also may have a shorter window of time to notify them about the injury as well as to file your claim. State laws may also limit the amount of damages you can receive.
Once you’ve fallen, you should document your injury or injuries and the location as soon as possible, including any bruises, scrapes, or broken bones; ruined clothing or personal belongings; and the sidewalk itself. Sidewalks can be easily repaired once a responsible party hears it may have legal action taken against it; with photographic evidence of the state of the sidewalk, you can help counter denials of disrepair.
If you’ve had a fall on a sidewalk and want to explore your options, contact the premises liability lawyers at Long & Long. You can complete our contact form below or by calling (251) 432-2277. We’ll give you a free case review. We serve clients in Mobile and throughout Alabama.