I Just Fell on an Uneven Sidewalk. What Do I Do?
Slips, trips, and falls are a safety issue. The National Floor Safety Institute estimates that these types of accidents send around one million people to the emergency room each year. A significant number of fall accidents happen because of uneven sidewalks. You may be wondering: Can I bring a personal injury claim if I was hurt on a sidewalk? The short answer is “yes”—though there are some unique considerations that apply to these cases. Here, our Jersey City slip and fall accident attorney explains what you need to do if you fell on an uneven sidewalk in New Jersey.
Three Steps to Take If You Fell On an Uneven Sidewalk in New Jersey
With a trip and fall accident claim, it is crucial that you take immediate action to protect your health and your rights. Sidewalk fall claims are complex—and they may be subject to strict deadlines. Here are three steps to take if you fell and were hurt on an uneven sidewalk in New Jersey:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If you were injured as a result of falling on an uneven sidewalk, it is imperative to seek medical attention right away. Doing so will help ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment for your injuries. You cannot bring a personal injury claim unless you see a doctor.
- Document the Uneven Sidewalk: You should also document the uneven sidewalk. Record exactly what happened anyway. This can include taking photos of the area, getting contact information from any witnesses, and making notes about the sidewalk condition.
- Consult With an Attorney Right Away: Professional legal guidance is key in sidewalk accident claims. Consult with an experienced New Jersey slip and fall accident lawyer before giving a statement to any business, property owner, government entity, or insurer.
The Next Question: Public Sidewalk vs. Private Sidewalk
The next thing that you will need to determine is who is responsible for the sidewalk. Uneven sidewalk fall claims can be split into two broad categories:
- Public sidewalk fall accidents; and
- Private sidewalk fall accidents.
If the sidewalk was the responsibility of a private entity (business or property owner), you can sue them for negligence under premises liability law. If the sidewalk was the responsibility of a public entity (state or local government), you can still sue them, but special rules apply.
Special Consideration When Suing the Government for an Uneven Sidewalk Injury
Government entities have sovereign immunity. In effect, this prevents them from being sued. However, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act allows you to sue the state or a municipality for negligence in an uneven sidewalk case. The key consideration is that you must file a Notice of Claim before you file a lawsuit. You have as little as 90 days to file your Notice of Claim. Do not wait to take action after falling and being injured on an uneven public sidewalk.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
At The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, our New Jersey slip and fall lawyers fight aggressively to protect injured victims. If you fell and were hurt on an uneven sidewalk, we can help. Contact us today to arrange your free, no obligation case review. From our Jersey City law office, we handle sidewalk accident slip and fall claims throughout North Jersey, including in Hudson County, Essex County, Bergen County, Middlesex County, Passaic County, and Somerset County.