While everyone should always be careful when they are walking, sometimes a hazardous sidewalk can cause an incident. When a sidewalk goes unattended to, its condition can deteriorate, causing local residents can fall and injure themselves. Such injuries may be concussions, broken bones, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and more. While the injured party should seek medical attention immediately, legal action may be sought after.
Examples of Accidents
There are several ways a person could be injured on an unsafe sidewalk. Possible factors may include:
- Sidewalk damages
- Poor weather conditions (snow, ice, water)
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
Injuries as a result of these factors must be addressed within a certain time period. Each New Jersey municipality provides a certain window of time to clean up after inclement weather. A successful case may not exist if you are injured during that period, as it was a risk to walk during that time. This is often the case when dealing with snow or ice conditions. If an injury occurs after that time allotted, the property owner of the sidewalk is could be held liable.
While it is often believed that local governments are responsible for all sidewalks, that is not always the case. It is important to understand who exactly is obligated to care for the sidewalk you were injured on while investigating who is accountable. In New Jersey, the property owner bordering the sidewalk is typically responsible for its care. This may be a private citizen, public store, a private company, or the community itself.
Burden of Proof
If the case is brought to court, the injured party is responsible for proving negligence. In order to do so, they must provide evidence that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous sidewalk and did nothing to fix it. This is called the “burden of proof.” Medical documentation after the incident, pictures and/or witnesses may be helpful in court to affirm your case.
If the case is successful, the injured party may be eligible for financial compensation. This may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical bills as a result of the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one 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 Stathis & Leonardis, LLC today.
Stathis & Leonardis, LLC is an experienced personal injury law firm in Middlesex County, New Jersey that is committed to helping clients who have been hurt because of the negligence of another party. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or were injured on another person’s property, contact our firm today.