When it comes to the maintenance of our city’s roads and sidewalks. It’s up to the city to make sure that they are well built and maintained for public use. This includes regular refurbishing on the wear and tear from the elements as well as pedestrian and motorist use. That said, if one gets injured due to the condition of the road or sidewalk then depending on the elements of the case, the city is going to be responsible for the injury because it’s the city that is charged with maintaining our roads and sidewalks for use. Still, there’s a multitude of personal injury rules to weave around before attributing negligence on behalf of the city, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through this process.
When is a city liable for a street or sidewalk accident?
Municipalities are liable when it is found that it was negligent and its negligence contributed to the accident. To be more specific, simply falling down on the sidewalk is no cause to sue the city for damages. The happenstance of there being a wet slippery liquid on the sidewalk that caused you to slip and fall is also not a cause to sue the city. In order to prove negligence, the city would need to have known that the hazard was a problem for some time and made no effort to eliminate the hazard. Same with the roads, if an accident was caused by a tire blowing out at a pothole, reports would need to have been made about the pothole before the accident notifying the city of its existence. If the city never made plans to remove the road hazard then the city is liable for the accident it caused.
What about ice and snow?
Ice and snow is an issue of a different breed because it accumulates and lingers around long after the initial snowfall. If you slip and fall on a sidewalk in a commercial area, then your claim could be against the municipality of the premises owner. However, municipalities are rarely responsible for the clearing away of snow in front of commercial buildings and are never responsible for private residences. In the latter case, it’s the homeowner/property owner that must clear out the snow themselves. The municipality is only responsible for sidewalks in front of public buildings or other public areas. The accumulation and condition of Ice and snow can change within minutes so if you slip and fall do take a photo of the accident scene so the opposition can’t disprove your evidence of the scene.
If you need help from a personal injury lawyer because you have suffered from an accident recently, contact us here at the Eric Roy Law Firm today!