Like you, most people walking down the sidewalk probably rarely thought about what could happen if they suffer from a fall. And then it happened: uneven pavement caught your foot and flung you to the ground. You're in pain, bleeding, and may have suffered serious injuries. Understanding sidewalk fall injury lawsuits can help you move forward with your case.
How Common are Sidewalk Fall Injuries?
Sidewalk fall injuries are a lot more common than most people realize. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 76,000 people suffered from some form of injury from a fall on a sidewalk. Shockingly, they found that 4,743 people actually died from these falls.
It makes sense when you think about it. After all, sidewalks are made out of concrete, which could easily cause broken bones, bleeding, internal injuries, or even a cracked skull.
Who is Liable for Sidewalk Injuries?
The most complex part of any sidewalk injury case is proving liability. Often, liability varies depending on local laws: some areas blame the property owners, while others will place liability on the city, county, or state.
Basically, whoever is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk is at fault. However, some municipalities have actually drafted laws that make them "immune" from lawsuits involving personal lawsuits related to sidewalk injuries.
Even if these kinds of laws don't apply in your case, the defense may try to prove that the sidewalk default was obvious and could have been easily avoided. Essentially, they place the onus of injury on you.
What Kind of Payouts are Possible?
Payouts and settlements for sidewalk fall injury lawsuits will vary highly, depending on the case and the laws dictating it. For example, a 68-year old woman in Lodi tripped and fell on a raised sidewalk while being interviewed by a newspaper involving her work with the local Neighborhood Watch.
Her serious injuries, which included a broken foot, leg, and elbow, made it impossible for her to work. So she sued the city and actually won a settlement. Her payout was an incredible $130,000. While that's a huge payout, it's important to remember that there's no guarantee that you'll get a settlement this big, even if you win.
Now that you have a basic understanding of sidewalk fall injury lawsuits, you should be able to build a reasonable case. Make sure to talk to a good lawyer before moving forward. They can help you understand the complexities of the laws that dictate your lawsuit and can help craft an air-tight case.
For more information, contact a business such as Frame & Co Injury Law.