Sidewalk injuries are fairly common, but it may be difficult to prove that a private owner or municipality should be held accountable. A premises liability lawyer can determine if you have a valid case. We can review your case during a free consultation.
Woman: Can we talk about sidewalk injuries?
George: Kerry, on sidewalk injuries, I just had one against the city that's unique, but may not be. Usually, a municipality or private owner needs to know that the sidewalk was defective. In other words, they have to have some type of notice. However, sometimes they already have notice except they're trying to cover it up. So what you need to know is what the rules of a municipality are in regard to a sidewalk. In other words, if a sidewalk is elevated but they thought they've done a repair, like an asphalt patch or something, they're going to say, "Well, we've already done that repair." That's not enough.
A lot of times, especially if there's a tree lifting the sidewalk up, they actually have to cut the tree down and re-do the entire sidewalk. It's very tricky regarding sidewalk injuries because there's ways of getting around the notice requirement but you need to know the law and you need to know the background. You need to know the different memorandum, different things the cities do. So it's very important. And a lot of these times, the sidewalk injuries can be very debilitating because you're not realizing, you're walking and all of a sudden you're tripping over something and you get injured. You're entitled to be able to walk on a safe sidewalk.
Kerry: You mentioned the term "tricky." It's very tricky suing a municipality and you better put yourself in the hands of a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of suing a municipality because there are all kinds of defenses and you have to overcome them. And they're usually tenacious in their representation of why you should have no recovery against them. You got to know what you're doing when you go after a municipality.
George: Also, very important is that you have to understand it. In order to sue a municipality, you have to make a claim against them first. That's why it's also important to get a lawyer right off the bat because we can do the investigation and make that claim. Because a claim needs to be made, most of the time, within six months of the injury. So if you don't make that claim within six months, a lot of times you can't sue them at all. So it's very important. There are a lot of rules when you're dealing with municipalities.
Kerry: I agree.