You can sue the city if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk. However, to have a successful case, you must prove that the city neglected to keep the sidewalk safe. For instance, suppose you slipped and fell on a crumbled piece of sidewalk. In that instance, you could argue that because the city didn’t maintain its properties, you suffered harm.
Suing the city can quickly get complicated. You may consider working with a slip and fall accident lawyer to help you recover damages.
You Can Sue the City If You Slipped and Fell on Public Property
When you slip and fall on the sidewalk, the party responsible for maintaining it can be liable for the accident. If a government entity, such as the city, is responsible for ensuring the sidewalk is safe, it could be liable for your injuries.
However, though the city may be liable, suing the government is very different from suing an individual. For instance, Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) notes that you generally have four years to file an injury lawsuit against another person. Yet, if you’re suing the city, you could have a shorter time to file.
This is where it helps to partner with a lawyer. They can explain what laws apply to your case and pursue damages accordingly.
Considerations After Getting Hurt in a Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accident
Here are some things to consider while contemplating legal action:
The City Will Have Lawyers Ready to Dispute Your Case
Once the city learns about your legal intentions, it will assemble of team of lawyers to dispute your case. This can make recovering compensation difficult – especially if you’re unrepresented.
The City May Undervalue Your Losses
Many cities don’t want to spend money paying out injury claims. They want to instead spend money on structural impairs and other amenities. So, before you go to court, the city’s representatives may offer less than you need. Be careful about accepting an early settlement offer; once you accept those funds, you cannot pursue further damages.
It Costs Nothing Up Front to Hire a Lawyer
Our personal injury firm works on a contingency-fee basis. So, you don’t pay anything from your savings for legal help. A portion of your court award or settlement compensates your lawyer for their time and efforts. This makes legal aid accessible to those who want representation.
How Do You Protect Your Rights After Falling on a Sidewalk?
After slipping and falling on another party’s property, you want to build the strongest possible case. This involves:
- Taking pictures of the hazard that harmed you. If possible, take photos of what you slipped on. You should also photograph your external injuries, such as cuts and bruises.
- Seeking medical treatment. You want to show the other party that, because you slipped and fell, you deserve compensation. Seeking medical care ties your injuries to the incident in question.
- Documenting your losses. Keep track of your medical visits, lost income, and mental health in the aftermath of getting hurt. This helps your lawyer assign a dollar value to your economic and non-economic damages.
- Limiting what you share on social media. Anything you share publicly on social media could hurt your case. You should only share information with your lawyer – no one else.
Also, be careful about signing any documents without consulting your lawyer first. Once you sign something, you can’t go back on your word, and anything you sign could hurt your case’s outcome.
Who Else Can Be Responsible for a Sidewalk Accident?
Apart from the city, other parties could share liability for your accident. For instance, if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk outside of a store, you could hold the store’s owner accountable for your losses. If you fell on the sidewalk outside of someone’s house, the homeowner could be responsible.
Sometimes, more than one party could share liability for your losses. Again, this is where it helps to work with a lawyer. They can identify each party responsible for your accident and pursue damages accordingly.
These Factors Can Cause Slip and Fall Accidents on Sidewalks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists some causes of slips and falls:
- Ice or snow
- Loose mats
- Cracks in the sidewalk
- Debris in a walkway, such as tree branches
- Tree roots growing under sidewalks
Even if you don’t see the cause of your accident listed here, you can still seek compensation for your losses.
Partner with a Lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
If you or a loved one slipped and fell on a sidewalk, you can sue the city for your losses. You could hold other parties accountable, as well. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine advocates for victims of negligence in Florida. To explore partnering with our team, dial 1-800-747-3733. Your first case review is free and offered at no obligation.
We Can Help.