If you tripped and fell because of a cracked, defective, or broken sidewalk, you might deserve compensation. Whoever is responsible for maintaining the sidewalks could be accountable for your injury costs. To learn if you have a personal injury case, talk to a trip and fall accident lawyer.
Tripping and falling on a sidewalk can cause serious injuries. Concussions, severe scrapes, and broken bones are common with these types of accidents. This can leave victims with costly medical bills, missed work time, and other losses.
If you suffered injuries after a trip and fall, our experienced lawyers can help. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been helping accident victims for over 20 years. To discuss your case and your recovery options, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Examples of Sidewalks Defects
Countless people walk over a sidewalk every day. Over time, the sidewalk can become cracked, broken, or dangerous in some other way. Unfortunately, this can lead to unexpected trip and fall accidents at any time.
Common types of sidewalk defects include:
- Cracked sidewalks
- Broken sidewalks
- Curb damage
- Uneven sidewalks
If you or a loved one fell because of a defective sidewalk, it’s important to investigate. Someone else could be responsible for the accident and the costs. If a person or party is liable, you might be entitled to money through a personal injury claim.
Your injuries might not have happened if someone had been more careful about the sidewalk’s upkeep. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6, you can recover for damages caused by someone’s legal negligence.
Common Sidewalk Trip and Fall Injuries
Injuries from a sidewalk-related accident can vary widely. The type of sidewalk issue, how someone falls, and the person’s physical condition are all factors. Common examples of injuries include:
- Broken ankles, wrists, arms, or other fractures
- Scrapes or lacerations
- Severe bruising
- Road rage
- Strains or sprains
- Head or brain injuries
Most people put their hands out to catch themselves as they fall. This can lead to hand, wrist, or arm injuries. However, some falls happen before you have time to catch yourself, leading to head or facial injuries.
After your fall, don’t wait to get medical attention. Even if you think you can manage your injuries at home, have a doctor check them out. You will need medical records showing that you received treatment.
Knowing Who Is Responsible for a Sidewalk Trip and Fall
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their property. They must keep safe premises and practices according to OCGA §51-3-1. So, after a trip and fall injury, you’ll need to know who owns the sidewalk property.
A building owner typically owns the sidewalk in front of their property. For example, a homeowner could be liable for a trip and fall on a sidewalk in front of their house.
A business owner could be responsible for a trip and fall on the pavement outside the company. If a trip and fall happens on a cracked or defective city sidewalk, a government agency is usually responsible. A city might also own a sidewalk in a public area. Depending on your fall, you might have a case against:
- A homeowner
- A business owner
- A company that rents the property
- A city government
Since each situation is different, you can work with a slip and fall lawyer to determine who’s responsible. You also can’t bring a claim just because you fell and were injured. You’ll have to show that the sidewalk owner was negligent in your accident.
Time Limits to File a Trip and Fall Claim
If you have a valid claim, you must file it within the statute of limitations. In Georgia, you usually have two years to bring a case. But if you bring a claim against a government agency, the limit can be as little as six months.
If you file outside of the deadline, you probably won’t be able to recover anything. So, don’t wait to get started. Talk to a lawyer about your case and how long you have to take action. Your lawyer can ensure you stay on track and don’t miss any important dates.
Recovering Your Damages
After a trip and fall caused by a cracked, defective, or broken sidewalk, you might be entitled to compensation. Before filing a claim against the responsible party, you’ll need to know all of your damages.
Here are some common damages from a trip and fall accident:
- Medical costs: Medical bills are often the largest part of an injury claim. Even with minor injuries, treatment expenses can add up quickly. You might have expenses for doctor visits, hospitalizations, exams, and medications. This also includes future medical bills for your injuries.
- Lost wages: Your injuries might prevent you from working for a certain period. If you cannot work, you can claim it as lost wages. You shouldn’t have to pay for the income you lost that wasn’t your fault.
- Lost earning capacity: Sometimes, injuries can prevent you from returning to work at all. Or, you might have to work less or take on a lower-paying job. You can claim this as lost earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Not all injuries are physical. You might have emotional “injuries” that affect your quality of life after the accident. Your lawyer will know how to put a dollar amount on these damages.
It’s best to complete medical treatment as fully as possible before filing your claim. You will need to account for all losses from the accident. Otherwise, you could end up paying out-of-pocket down the road.
To learn more about your options, contact a slip and fall accident lawyer in your area. Contact John Foy & Associates for a free consultation at (404) 400-4000.
Talk to a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer About Your Case
Tripping and falling can happen suddenly, and it can affect your life in many ways. But one thing is clear: you shouldn’t have to pay for damages you didn’t cause. At John Foy & Associates, we know how to hold the at-fault party responsible.
Our experienced lawyers only work on contingency. That means you don’t pay anything upfront, and we only charge our fee after we win you compensation. To get started with a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.