Liability For Accidental Sidewalk Injuries In California
Oakland is one of the most walkable cities of its size in the US, due in part to the high mileage of its sidewalks. According to official statistics, the City of Oakland has around 1,100 miles of paved walkways taking pedestrians to their homes, places of work, businesses, shopping, and many other destinations. Unfortunately, some of the sidewalks and paths leading to buildings around town are in a sad state of disrepair. You could easily trip, slip, or fall on the pavement, causing serious injuries.
Many victims know that they have legal remedies after being injured on the sidewalk, but one of the first questions that comes to mind is who to pursue. When walking, you probably do not think about who could be liable for creating the hazard. There may be numerous options depending on the circumstances, and an Oakland premises liability lawyer will advise you on potential parties. A summary of liability for sidewalk accidents is also useful.
Holding Property Owners Accountable: Property and business owners have a legal duty to make sure their premises are in reasonably safe condition and free from hazards that could cause accidents. When they breach this duty, they can be held accountable for a victim’s injuries and losses through a legal concept termed premises liability. In the case of a sidewalk accident, the property owner could be liable for:
- Failing to repair cracks;
- Not fixing and replacing broken pavement that is too damaged to patch up; and,
- Neglecting to place a warning sign or barricades around a section of dangerous sidewalk, at least until repairs can be made.
Potential Parties for Sidewalk Accidents: There may be more than 1,100 miles of sidewalks around Oakland, but the city does not own and maintain all of these surfaces. Businesses would typically be liable for the stretch of path that leads from a public sidewalk up to the entrance, as well as walkways that are around a building and its attached parking areas.
If a sidewalk accident does take place on city property because of negligence by officials, you may have grounds to pursue the relevant government body. Your rights under premises liability principles are largely the same, but the legal process is very different.
Victims May Qualify for Damages: The most common injuries from sidewalk accidents are traumatic brain injury, concussion, contusions, whiplash, broken bones, and lacerations. By filing a premises liability case against the appropriate at-fault party, you may succeed in recovering compensation for:
- Your medical bills for treatment, including surgery, emergency room care, and hospitalization;
- Lost income from missing work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Many other losses.
Set Up a Free Consultation with an Oakland Premises Liability Attorney
It is helpful to know how liability works when someone is injured on a sidewalk, but you can count on our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP to handle legal details. To learn more about premises liability concepts, please contact our firm today. We can set up a no-cost case analysis at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA.