Uneven Sidewalks and Cracks: What Happens if You Fall?
More than likely, you remember the old childhood rhyme. The idea was to skip over a crack in the sidewalk to avoid “breaking your mother’s back.” However, fast forward to now, and it’s actually your own well being that is undoubtedly a concern. What happens if you fall because of uneven sidewalks or defective cracks in the walkway?
Stroll down any street in Elizabeth or other Union County town, and you’ll find them. In some circumstances, it’s that large tree roots have pushed up parts of the sidewalk. Consequently, your foot can get caught and cause you to trip and fall forward.
Of course, the big question is one of accountability. If you fall, you’ll need to know who is responsible for the uneven sidewalk. This will include determining the cause of the uneven sidewalk. Meanwhile, it will also be crucial to investigate whose job it was to fix it.
Unfortunately, there’s also the chance that you fell because of a crack in the sidewalk. You might be surprised at what makes a sidewalk crack. For example, it could be that the concrete did not cure correctly in the first place. In addition to protruding tree roots, weather and soil conditions contribute to sidewalk cracks.
When You Fall on a Sidewalk
For the most part, sidewalk injury cases require investigative resources. It’s not just a matter of determining who owned the location where the injury occurred. It is also crucial to decide on whose job it was to ensure the walking area was safe. Ultimately, it may be necessary to find out how long the dangerous condition existed. The culpable parties could include:
• A local municipality or other government entity
• An indoor or outdoor shopping mall
• An apartment or condominium complex
• A manufacturing plant
• An office building
• A medical facility, such as a hospital
• A sidewalk contractor
If you trip and fall on a sidewalk, you should seek the services of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In the first place, claims against municipalities and other government entities have legal notice requirements by law.
According to the New Jersey Torts Claims Act, there are time limitations regarding a notice of claim. NJSA 59:8-8 states that with limited exceptions, the notice must be filed within ninety days after the accident.
In the meantime, your attorney may send out an engineer to examine the accident site. You should take photographs as soon after the accident as you can. Otherwise, it will be difficult to prove the conditions if they are subsequently repaired.
Sidewalk Fall-down Injuries
In a best-case scenario, only your pride will be hurt when you fall down on a sidewalk. However, there is a chance that you’ll wind up with even more than a scraped knee. Unfortunately, a trip and fall accident can result in fatal injuries.
Broken bones are a common injury that occurs as a result of uneven sidewalks. The victim may land heavily on a knee, elbow or hand. Wrist and ankle injuries are extremely prevalent when someone trips and falls. Meanwhile, it is possible to suffer facial and head trauma.
Medical bills are often a concern when it comes to any type of fall-down injury. If you do not have health insurance, you may become saddled with huge expenses.
Did you suffer injuries when you fell on a sidewalk? At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have decades of experience helping personal injury victims. Give us a call for help with your claim!