Cracked Sidewalk Slip and Fall and Uneven Level Trip and Fall
In Indiana, cracked sidewalks and unexpected uneven levels of walkways, pathways, parking lots and sidewalks can wreak havoc with your health if you trip and fall.
An experienced cracked sidewalk or uneven level Indiana slip and fall lawyer is someone you may need to turn to see if the landowner or manager did not appropriately care for their property leaving you with injuries after you suffered a slip and fall accident.
When a cracked sidewalk or uneven level of walkway presents a reasonable risk of injury, a landowner is under a duty to remedy the situation or appropriately warn of its potentially dangerous condition.
It does not matter if the landowner caused the cracked sidewalk or uneven level of it, negligence law requires a remedy or warning by the landowner if he or she is knowledgeable about the situation or should be knowledgeable. Simply ignoring the problem is not acceptable behavior by the landowner, and if you are injured you might be able to hold the landowner responsible for your damages – which can include medical bills, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future wages and scars and disfigurement as well as a diminishment in the overall quality of your life.When Does a Cracked Sidewalk or Uneven Walking Surface Become “Negligence” in IN?
Not every sidewalk accident will be actionable with a legal claim. It depends upon a variety of factors and only an experienced trip and fall Indiana attorney can perform the investigation you deserve. You might think you’re entitled to recovery but you won’t be sure until you speak directly with your injury lawyer.
Many slip and fall injuries are completely preventable and proper maintenance and care of a sidewalk is one way to decrease the chances of a critical injury. There are a variety of methods to cure or remedy a cracked sidewalk or uneven level of walking surface in Indiana. For example, some landowners might “shave” the concrete to create a slope for the unsuspecting traveler. Other ways include new concrete work or raising the concrete with companies that specialize in that activity.
Many people are not familiar with their rights and responsibilities as it relates to cracked sidewalks that cause uneven levels of a walking surface. But, if the injured person can show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition of the cracked sidewalk and failed to take necessary precautions such as described above, then a viable claim can exist. At the very least, an appropriate warning sign of the potentially dangerous condition should be in place by the landowner. Painting the uneven level with an orange fluorescent paint is a commonly seen remedy that warns unsuspecting customers of the potential danger.Common Defense to a Cracked Sidewalk or Uneven Walking Surface Case in IN?
A common defense to these types of claims by landowners include that the uneven level of the walkway or the cracked sidewalk or pavement was “open and obvious” to the customer who should have appreciate its danger. But, this type of defense ignores that it is often impossible for a person – who is looking down and being 100% careful – to recognize subtle differences in elevation that can cause a person’s toe to catch upon the raised pavement or sidewalk and lead to an injurious tumble.
Moreover, the difference in elevation or the cracked sidewalk or uneven level of parking lot or sidewalk is probably a progressive condition caused over time. A first-time visitor to a business, store or restaurant might not have the same awareness that the landowner or business proprietor does of the potentially dangerous condition.
After all, a reasonable inspection schedule by the landowner can reveal dangerous cracks in sidewalks, pathways and parking lots. With that knowledge, then the landowner can take the steps necessary to remedy the danger. Blaming the person who tripped and fell is an obvious deflection of who has the ultimate responsibility for the injury.
A property owner might be held responsible in a premises liability lawsuit for differences in elevation like cracked sidewalks or concrete deterioration for lost wages, future impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses tied to the incident.
The simple truth is that the vast majority of trip and fall or slip and fall incidents can be avoided with appropriate precaution and maintenance.
Talk to Shaw Law. We get you back on your feet.