Sidewalk Accident Attorney in Newark, DE
Sidewalks should be regularly monitored for hazards that can cause injury. If there are problems, they should be rectified in a timely manner. When sidewalks are not properly maintained, it poses a serious risk to passersby. Serious injury can occur when sidewalks are neglected, including broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and much more. For the most part, sidewalks are the responsibility of the adjacent property owners. Private citizens and commercial retail stores can be held liable for incidents that happen because of their negligence. If you are injured on a sidewalk, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney. MW&M provides effective and zealous representation to victims of serious injury across the state of Delaware. If you have been injured on a sidewalk, contact our firm to discuss your legal matter.
Causes of sidewalk accidents
There are numerous causes of sidewalk accidents. Some of the conditions that people and businesses need to monitor for include:
- Weather conditions (ice, snow, and standing water)
- Surface problems
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
Each property owner should fix these problems within a reasonable time. In the case of weather conditions, a property owner must address weather conditions within the allotted time after a storm. Each municipality has different regulations. If you were walking on a sidewalk within that time period provided to clean up after a storm, you will most likely not have a case.
Most people have the misconception that municipalities are solely responsible for the condition of sidewalks. This is not the case. As stated above, the attached property owner is often the one that needs to make sure the sidewalk is safe for pedestrians, but every locality is different. If your injury was caused by the negligence of a homeowner, homeowners’ organization, or commercial entity, you may be entitled to compensation. If you were to suffer an injury on municipal property, you will most likely be barred because of governmental immunity, a legal principle that relieves municipalities from many personal injury lawsuits.
Burden of proof
Though it is a frustrating concept for many, the victim of a serious injury will typically need to prove how much compensation they deserve. This is called the burden of proof. In order to be successful in a lawsuit, you would need to collect and preserve evidence that supports your claim to compensation. The first step is to always get medical attention. This tends to your needs in multiple ways. While you are being cared for, the injury, the place of the accident, and the general time of the accident are being documented. If you are able, take pictures and speak with witnesses. If you are not able to act for yourself, contact our firm to send an investigator to preserve evidence for you.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This can include both economic damages and noneconomic damages. Some compensation you may be entitled to include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical bills
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional turmoil
It is important to know about contributory and comparative negligence. Though you were injured on a sidewalk and it was the fault of another, your carelessness or negligence can play a role in the case you wish to bring. If you were over 50% at-fault for your accident, you will most likely not be allowed to recover damages.
Contact an experienced sidewalk accident attorney
If you have been injured because of conditions on a sidewalk, you have a lot to consider. With so much at stake, it is important to have quality legal support that can guide you through your legal options and zealously represent your needs. For a free consultation with an experienced law firm, contact MW&M.