Walking on a sidewalk seems safe compared to driving in your car, and it should be. Yet sidewalk accidents can cause broken ankles, wrists, and even legs. How is this possible? Because sidewalks generally involve easy walking and people rightfully don’t treat them in the same way as a rugged trail. Sidewalks shouldn’t require careful footwork, and when they do, pedestrians are taken off guard. People can fall because they’re carrying things or have disabilities. The elderly also have a difficult time on bad sidewalks.
If any of the following sidewalk dangers injures you or a loved one, get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Uneven Concrete Slabs and Brickwork
Over time, sidewalk concrete slabs become uneven when they tilt at varying angles. This has a variety of causes such as soil settlement and soil erosion from beneath the slabs. The most common cause however, are growing roots from nearby trees. Tree roots are also responsible for broken up brick sidewalks. These sidewalk defects leave exposed vertical edges that catch feet and cause trip and fall accidents. Some exposed vertical edges on long neglected sidewalks can be several inches high.
This is a late fall and winter phenomenon. Black ice doesn’t necessarily require bad weather to form. All that’s necessary is a wet surface or puddle that freezes overnight. These frozen patches will persist well into the morning hours on shaded sections of sidewalks. Properties or businesses that allow water runoff into nearby sidewalks during the winter endanger the public.
Potholes in the sidewalk present a dual hazard to the public. First, they are trip and fall dangers. Second, they collect rainwater, which can freeze overnight in the winter and form black ice.
Urban construction on buildings often use scaffolding to access outside walls. Failure to protect pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk below from falling objects can cause serious head injuries. Unlike the workers above, sidewalk pedestrians don’t benefit from hard hats. Construction operations should either block off the exposed sidewalk or erect overhead roof protection.
There is no reason you or someone close to you should bear the cost of a sidewalk injury because of another’s negligence. This cost includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For legal advice, contact us at The Clardy Law Firm.