If a pedestrian is injured on a sidewalk, the responsibility for that accident depends on a variety of factors, particularly whether the sidewalk is public or private.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about filing an injury claim if injured on a sidewalk by slipping or tripping and falling.
Premises liability in sidewalk accidents
Sidewalks can be either publicly or privately owned. Public sidewalks usually separate private property from public streets. Private sidewalks are only located on private property, such as a walkway up to a house or a commercial building.
The responsibility for maintaining sidewalks will vary from community to community. In many cities, public sidewalks are the responsibility of the municipality to maintain, except for snow removal at residential properties.
Maintenance and repair of all types for private sidewalks usually is the responsibility of that property owner, whether it be an individual, a business or an organization (such as a homeowners’ association).
Ultimately, it is important to familiarize yourself with local laws at the outset of your case, and to determine who has responsibility for maintaining a sidewalk in a particular circumstance. A homeowner might be liable for accidents caused by a buildup of ice on a public sidewalk in front of their house, but in the summertime, it might be the municipality that is responsible for accidents caused by broken or cracked pavement.
Whoever is responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk will most likely be the defendant in a premises liability case after an accident.
For more information about filing a premises liability case after a slip and fall accident, contact a trusted Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.