Liability in slip and fall incidents happening on public sidewalks can be quite tricky. In fact, everything starts with figuring out if anyone is liable to begin with. This is because in order to have a case, there is a party who needs to show some sort of negligence. If negligence is not present, you can have the very best personal injury lawyer for sidewalk trips and falls and still fail. That’s why you should know some things.
Slip And Fall Injury Claims – Negligence
Winning the slip and fall case automatically needs you have to prove the fact that there was negligence on the part of a property owner. Basically, this means the property owner actively did something that was wrong. When you just slip but there was no negligence involved, even on a public sidewalk, you do not have a case. Also, the fact that the sidewalk was in a bad condition is not enough to prove that the municipality or the property owner was negligent.
Everything boils down to a few really simple elements. The public sidewalk has to be in a condition that is reasonably unsafe. After that, you have to prove the negligence of the property owner. Simply put, this means you have to highlight the fact that the owner should have reasonably known or actually knew about the unsafe conditions.
Liability In Public Sidewalk Cases
The big problem is that state laws vary a lot so you have to see what they are first. Also, the homeowner’s deed might actually decide the outcome. There are states in which the law dictates that municipalities are always liable for public sidewalk upkeep. In other US states, things are so much less clear. This is where you absolutely need to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury law firm.
If Municipalities Are Liable
Being injured in public sidewalk slip and fall incidents automatically comes with 2 limitations that should be understood. This applies in most US states.
For starters, there are some strict deadlines that have to be respected when you want to file personal injury claims against municipalities. Then, in most states you have a clear limit on the amount you could possibly recover after winning your case.
There are cases in which these limitations are automatically respected and they are very strict. In others, this is not actually the case and there is some opportunity to get more. But, this does vary a lot, if it applies, based on the strength of your case and the injuries you suffered.
The big problem when you sue the municipality is that you will be faced with a very tough opposition. If you think dealing with an insurance company is difficult, as with car accident injury claims, trying to make municipalities accept they did something wrong is a walk in the park. This is why you absolutely need to discuss the case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Preferably, look for one who did win several public sidewalk slip and fall claims for their clients in the past. When you get experienced legal help, there is a much higher possibility you will get a good outcome.