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Cracks, adverse weather conditions, debris, and uneven surfaces can lead to sidewalk slip-and-fall accidents. This type of slip-and-fall accident can lead to severe injuries and other damages. As with other types of negligence personal injury cases, you may be entitled to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and damages.

However, sidewalks are public property, making it difficult to identify whom to sue for the damages. Additionally, the rules governing the recovery of damages for a sidewalk slip-and-fall accident can be intimidating and confusing. Here is a guide to recovering compensation after a sidewalk slip-and-fall accident.

What to Do After a Sidewalk Slip-And-Fall Accident

Sidewalk slip-and-fall accidents require extensive proof to determine liability and hold the responsible parties accountable. Here are the crucial steps you should take after a sidewalk injury to build a robust case:

  • Seek medical help: Seeking medical care after the accident with ensure your injuries are diagnosed and treated. This also helps tie your injuries to the accident.
  • Document the incident: You should take pictures or videos of the accident scene, your losses, injuries, and the hazard that contributed to your fall. The city or property owner may fix the danger, making it difficult to show that the condition existed.
  • Contact a slip-and-fall accident lawyer: You should immediately bring your case to an experienced lawyer who can help you through a potential lawsuit.

You should also avoid signing anything or dealing with insurance companies and government entities without the help of a lawyer. This could hurt your case or lead to a lower settlement.

Proving Liability in a Sidewalk Slip-And-Fall Accident

Liability in a sidewalk slip-and-fall accident depends on the party responsible for maintaining it. In California, various parties can be held liable, including government entities and property owners.

To prove liability, you’ll be required to show that the sidewalk had a hazardous condition and that the property owner or the city knew or should have known about it. You’ll also have to prove that they failed to take action to mitigate the hazard. Some of the evidence that can help you establish your claim include:

  • Photos of the accident scene showing the hazard
  • Pictures of the visible injuries incurred after the fall
  • A copy of your medical report
  • Past complaints or settlements to victims of similar accidents
  • A copy of the report you made to the negligent individual or entity

Having an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer by your side will increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. A lawyer can help you prove liability and ensure all the responsible parties are held accountable.

When a Government entity Is Liable for Slip-And-Falls

Determining liability for the injuries sustained due to a hazardous condition on a public sidewalk depends on your state laws. In California, government entities, such as the city or municipality, are responsible for keeping each sidewalk safe and secure. When they fail to exercise this duty of care, they may be held accountable for the accident.

Limitations for Slip-And-Fall Claims Against a City or Town

There are various rules and deadlines that a sidewalk slip-and-fall victim must follow when pursuing compensation from the city or another government entity. You’ll be required to file a claim with the government agency, after which you follow the municipality’s claims process. Some of the limitations for filing a lawsuit against a city or town include the following:

  • A very short deadline (within six months from the date of injury) to notify the correct department of the city or town that you were injured
  • Provide a written description of your claim and the accident, including location and circumstances leading to the accident.
  • The government could reject all or part of your claim by sending a ‘right to sue’ letter.
  • If you don’t receive any response, you’ll have to wait for at least 45 days before filing a lawsuit in court.
  • A shortened deadline (within 6 months of receipt of any ‘right to sue’ letter) for filing a lawsuit against a particular government entity.
  • A limit (cap) on how much you can recover from the municipality.

You should remember that pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the government differs from suing an individual. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney to help you through the legal technicalities.

When a Property Owner Is Liable for Slip-And-Falls

While municipalities and counties own the sidewalks next to private property and businesses, property owners must maintain the sidewalk next to their property and keep it safe. They are required to regularly inspect the sidewalks for hazards that can cause injuries.

When snow, ice, or debris makes the sidewalks slippery, the property owner should quickly repair them. Failure to which they can also be liable for the damages attributed to the accident. However, the municipality will be held responsible for the damages in most cases.

Other liable parties in a sidewalk slip-and-fall accident may include construction companies and other business entities whose negligent acts led to the accident.

Contact an Experienced Slip-And-Fall Accident Lawyer at Kash Legal

Sidewalk slip-and-fall accidents are very complicated and require expansive knowledge and experience with the legal process. You’ll be required to comply with the strict procedural guidelines and endure the frustrating government policies. Additionally, the city will have intimidating lawyers and may try to undervalue your losses.

That’s why skilled sidewalk slip-and-fall accident lawyers at Kash Legal are here to help you. We are a team of dedicated lawyers who are well-versed in the law and have a willingness to aggressively fight for your rights. Call us today at (888) 527-4128 or contact us online to discuss your legal options.

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