What happens if I slip and fall on the sidewalk?

Posted March 4th, 2015 by .

Categories: Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Slip and Falls.

broken-sidewalk-slip-and-fallWhen you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the fault usually lies with the property owner. But what about on a city sidewalk?

Here’s the scenario: While walking to the bus stop, an elderly woman’s foot catches on a piece of broken sidewalk. She attempts to stop her fall, but unfortunately she hits the ground, breaking her hip and cracking a few ribs. Since this is a public area, no one owns the property that she just fell on. Who is responsible for the broken sidewalk?

When filing a personal injury claim for a slip and fall on a sidewalk, there is a difference between which kind of sidewalk the accident occurred on. If it’s a private sidewalk — such as a sidewalk in a housing complex — the responsible party is the property owner. However if it’s a public sidewalk, such as shown in the scenario above, the responsibility may belong to the city. There can be different laws on sidewalk maintenance, depending on the city. In New Jersey, it can be a gray area on who is responsible. Some cases, it could be the city’s fault. In other times, such as a sidewalk abutting a private property, it could be the city and the property owner. You’re going to need an experienced personal injury lawyer to identify the responsible parties.

But if the municipality is the one who is responsible for the accident, know that prompt action is required. You’re going to need a file a Notice of Claim within 90 days or else you could forfeit your right to sue the city.

If you have a slip and fall accident on a sidewalk, don’t wait much longer! The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been handling these type of cases for more than 26 years. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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