Making Sense of a Sidewalk Accident in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Sidewalk accidents are among the most common types of slip and fall accidents because a sidewalk can be hazardous or dangerous when left unattended. Falling on concrete can cause serious injuries such as concussions, broken bones, brain damage, and more. There are many causes of sidewalk accidents, some are listed below.
- Sidewalk damage (cracks or uneven pavement)
- Poor weather conditions (snow, ice, and water)
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
When sidewalk accidents occur due to the negligence of a separate party, it is prudent to discuss your incident with a sidewalk accident attorney. At Spear Greenfield, we provide a free consultation to learn more regarding your case and to provide you with legal guidance. The appointment carries no obligations or pressure, just information. Schedule a free consultation with our sidewalk accident lawyers either by phone or online form fill by clicking below.
Considering the Legal Options Following a Sidewalk Accident
Depending on where you fell, you may either sue a private property owner or a municipality. When pursuing sidewalk accident compensation, the injured party must prove negligence to be successful. The discussion of liability requires the injured party to satisfy the burden of proof. In doing so, the individual must prove the property owner knew, or should have known about the sidewalk conditions and did not fix it. Fulfilling the burden of proof is best accomplished using evidence.
Fulfilling the burden of proof can be challenging and meticulous, which an experienced attorney can navigate. Spear Greenfield attorneys have a combined 200 years of experience in handling comparable personal injury claims. Our law firm has guided clients through the legal process to receive their entitled sidewalk accident compensation.
Determining Liability and Evidence Collection Following a Sidewalk Accident
As mentioned above, liability is determined by whether the property of your sidewalk accident was public or private. Generally, if another’s negligence caused you to fall on a sidewalk adjacent from a private property owner’s property, that owner is responsible. If another’s negligence caused you to fall on a municipality-owned property, the responsibility is on the municipality.
In terms of general legal evaluation, municipalities or property owners are provided a window of time for cleaning their property after inclement weather conditions in most states. If an individual was walking and becomes injured during this allocated time window, the injured party may not have a case because it was a risk to walk. If an injury occurs after the municipality’s time window expires, the party responsible for caring for the sidewalk could be held liable.
No matter the negligent party, accountability is determined by the following factors. You must prove that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the unsafe sidewalk conditions, the owner failed to take action to fix the hazard, and you sustained damages as a result of the negligence. Evidence is the most effective way to prove the above factors. Some examples of evidence of your sidewalk accident are listed below.
Pictures or videos taken at the scene
Witnesses that saw the accident
Pictures of the conditions that caused the accident
Since evidence is critical, there are some essential steps to complete following a slip and fall accident. By completing this checklist following your accident, you maximize the chances of winning your claim and sidewalk accident compensation. They are as follows:
- Call the police and emergency services following your accident, so immediate medical attention is available and documentation of the incident is complete.
- Collect the contact information of any witnesses to your accident.
- Take pictures of the safety hazard that caused your accident before the negligent property owner has a chance to discard evidence.
- Seek medical treatment for injuries and ask your doctor for medical documents pertaining to the origin and extent of your injuries.
- Consult with a sidewalk accident lawyer to determine the validity of your case.
- After filing your lawsuit, avoid social media to ensure your claim is preserved.
Considering a sidewalk accident attorney for your case is important because a lawyer can efficiently gather and present all additional evidence needed to satisfy the burden of proof. In some cases, evidence may be difficult for you to collect, such as security camera video or expert witnesses, which a sidewalk accident lawyer can facilitate. To learn more about the considerations for involving a lawyer in your sidewalk accident claim, click on the link below.
Damages You Can Claim After a Sidewalk Accident
Sidewalk accident injuries can range from mild scrapes and bruises to more serious harm like broken bones and head trauma. Generally, they have one thing in common — they can cause emotional, financial, and physical challenges for you.
Some typical things we help clients seek compensation for following a sidewalk accident include:
Wages lost due to missed work, now and in the future
Expenses for medical treatment
Pain and suffering
These damages fall into two categories — noneconomic and economic.
Noneconomic damages don’t have a tangible dollar value. Examples are emotional distress and pain and suffering. Financial damages help cover costs with a distinct value, like medical care and the amount of wages you lost from missing work.
Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks can be complex since they can involve both property owners and local governments. The best method for successfully establishing fault is partnering with an experienced sidewalk accident lawyer who knows how to build a case and prove negligence.
Why Spear Greenfield Is the Right Choice
When the actions of a property owner or municipality cause your sidewalk accident, you’ll need different types of evidence to prove it. The Spear Greenfield team has the know-how to collect this information for you. For example, we’ll ask for footage from neighborhood security cameras and get statements from anyone who witnessed your slip and fall. We’ll also gather medical records and help you get the care you need to document the scope and duration of your injuries.
Our sidewalk fall lawyers proudly display over two centuries of collective experience and a tradition of success. You can review our record in the section below. As personal injury lawyers, we’ve advocated for numerous clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey for three decades. These are just two reasons that Spear Greenfield is the ideal choice for your legal representation. Some others include:
- We go the extra mile for you: Our goal is to get our clients the maximum compensation. We negotiate fiercely and gladly present your case to the court when litigation becomes necessary. Plus, each case we handle benefits from the resources of our entire staff.
- We take care of our clients: The Spear Greenfield team has an extensive network of experts. We can guide you to the right medical care and help you get the treatment you need for recovery, even without health insurance.
- We consider every case: Our team looks at the facts of every case regardless of size. As a result, we often take on clients that other law firms have turned away and still back them with our no-win-no-fee guarantee.
Discover more about what distinguishes us from other personal injury law firms by following the link below.