Know Your Rights

Sidewalks Hazardous to Your Physical Health

Sidewalks hazardous to your physical health are everywhere. Many do not give sidewalk safety a second thought as they exist in cities, in rural communities, around neighborhoods, next to public and private spaces, and well, just about anywhere that people walk. A simple sidewalk crack, broken edge, or a sudden change in slope or height between one section and another can cause a trip, fall and personal injury. Unsafe sidewalks have become a common cause of physical harm and injury across the U.S.

Sidewalks Hazardous to Anyone of Any Age

With over 24% of pedestrian injuries due to a trip and fall on uneven or cracked sidewalks, it is a personal safety hazard that demands public safety to be of higher priority. The International Property Maintenance Code states that all sidewalks should be kept in a proper state of repair, and maintained to be free of any hazardous conditions. With the high numbers of those injured every year due to sidewalk hazards, filing a personal injury claim may help those responsible be more diligent in properly maintaining the sidewalk.

Sidewalk Hazards All Around Us

Some of the most common sidewalk injuries are often caused due to the following reasons:

  • Cracks in the sidewalk – these may develop over time from age, ground conditions, tree roots disrupting the pathway, climate, and temperature changes. Cracks may also appear due to the use of inferior materials or improper construction. Proper safety maintenance needs to be in place to prevent personal injury.
  • Uneven or sloping sections of the sidewalk – the construction industry standard typically limits the sidewalk lift or drop between sections to one-half inch, and in some instances, to just one-quarter of an inch. Any number of reasons may contribute to a rise or drop in elevation between sections of the sidewalk, however, the sidewalk needs to have adequate and on-going maintenance and repair for public safety.
  • Broken edges and potholes – holes, cracked off sections, and other material disintegration and decay may occur that can easily lead to a trip, fall, and physical injury.  
  • Debris – obstructions and trip hazards on the sidewalk are a common source for a trip and fall injury. Debris includes trash cans, garbage bags, the trash that has spilled out of a container onto the sidewalk, fallen leaves, yard debris such as piled up tree or bush trimmings, bicycles, toys, and any items that do not belong in the walking path on the sidewalk.
  • Ice and snow accumulation – private homeowners, storefronts, the private or public businesses need to display diligence in taking care of their sidewalks are free and clear during winter months. The local laws may vary as to the time frame for ensuring the sidewalks are shoveled and made safe for public use, however, these laws are in effect to help protect you and provide for your safety.  

Sidewalk Hazards Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured while walking on unsafe and hazardous sidewalks, call attorney Joel Baskin, for expert legal guidance. It does not matter if the sidewalk is the responsibility of a private owner, business, state or local municipality – if you have been injured, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical expense.  

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