Sidewalk Accident Settlements
People think of sidewalks as safe places to walk. They’re removed from traffic flow, filled only with strolling pedestrians, and offer access to all our favorite shops, parks, cafes, and restaurants. That’s why it can be such an unsettling shock to suffer a serious injury on what we consider a safe space for walking.
Slip and fall injuries can happen unexpectedly on sidewalks where we typically feel relaxed and comfortable. In fact, sidewalks are one of the most common locations for slip and fall injuries. Many victims of sidewalk accidents feel they have no legal recourse because sidewalks are public spaces. But did you know that you may have a valid claim for compensation for injuries from a sidewalk accident? In most cases, property owners in Utah, or even the city itself, bear the responsibility to keep sidewalks reasonably well-maintained to prevent accidents and injuries.
Sidewalk Accountability in Salt Lake County
According to Salt Lake County Ordinance, all property owners bear the responsibility for maintaining the sidewalks and curbs abutting their property, while the county bears responsibility for inspecting the conditions of sidewalks to determine if they’re in need of repair. When sidewalk sections require repair, the county notifies the property owner and issues a deadline. If a property owner fails to make necessary repairs or perform required maintenance, the county may make the repairs and place a lien for the cost against the property until the property owner pays the necessary amount.
A skilled lawyer with experience in sidewalk injury law can help you determine who is at fault in your accident and against whom to file your claim for compensation for your injury.
A property owner may be liable under the following circumstances:
- The city issued a property owner a repair notice and they failed to respond
- Tree roots or foliage from the property encroached on the sidewalk and caused the accident or caused the damage resulting in an accident
- Snow and ice remained on the sidewalk for many hours after inclement weather (Salt Lake City requires property owners to remove snow and add salt to icy sidewalks within 24 hours)
Common Sidewalk Injuries and Their Causes
Injuries from slip-and-fall accidents on rough concrete sidewalks can seriously impact your mobility, your ability to work, and your quality of life. Some common injuries from sidewalk accidents resulting from poorly maintained sidewalks include the following:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage such as ankle and wrist sprains
- Back, disc, and spine injuries
- Hip injuries (especially serious in elderly accident victims)
- Knee injuries
- Head injuries and TBIs such as concussions or more severe brain injuries
Causes of accidents on sidewalks include uneven pavement, broken or cracked pavement, snow and ice hazards, lifted sidewalks from tree roots, missing sections of sidewalks, overgrown foliage, and lack of hazard warning signs.
Settlements for Sidewalk Accidents
Settlements for sidewalk accident claims vary depending on the severity of the injury, but in many cases, a slip-and-fall victim injured in a sidewalk accident may see a claim settlement that includes compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If you’ve sustained a serious injury on a sidewalk in Utah, an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine who is at fault in your accident so you can gain the compensation you deserve for your injury.