Sidewalks are usually a sign of safe and walkable areas. When you’re strolling through a neighborhood, you may have noticed that not all the sidewalks are in pristine condition. The casual pedestrian is susceptible to getting hurt if the damage isn’t addressed quickly. Broken sidewalks are a common cause of trip and fall injuries.
Trips and falls are dangerous and leave victims with long-term injuries. Suffering from a trip and fall injury can be incredibly frustrating when you know that the accident was preventable. Hold the liable party accountable for their neglect by working with a trip and fall lawyer to secure damages. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear who the liable party is in broken sidewalk accidents.
How Do Sidewalks Get Damaged?
Sidewalks are susceptible to damage and must be maintained regularly to stay safe. In the United States, concrete is the most popular pavement material used for sidewalks. Cement, water, aggregate, and sand are mixed to form an extremely long-lasting material with a lifespan of 40 to 80 years.
Most sidewalk damage is caused by structural breakdowns from:
- Harsh weather like excessive rain and ice
- Heavy foot traffic that wears down the concrete
- Improper placement technique
- Tree roots growing underneath
According to the Federal Highway Administration, many of the factors that lead to sidewalk deterioration are connected to frost action, a weathering process triggered by water freezing into ice. Sidewalk damage often presents as cracked concrete slabs jutting out of place at odd angles, broken chunks, and weathered concaves. All forms of damage contribute to an uneven walkway.
Who Is Liable for a Broken Sidewalk Accident in Arizona?
Determining who is liable for a broken sidewalk accident in Arizona is tricky because how sidewalk ownership is assigned depends on where you live in Arizona. Sidewalks that run parallel to or near city streets are typically deemed city property. As a result, the city or local municipality is generally named the defendant in slip and fall accident cases.
Homeowners are increasingly being held liable for sidewalk repairs and maintenance in cities across Arizona. Both Phoenix and Tucson have ordinances that hold property owners accountable. The city of Phoenix’s ordinance places the responsibility for repairs and liability for harm squarely on the shoulders of the property owner. In many circumstances, Flagstaff will divide the costs.
Sidewalk accident claims filed against homeowners will likely trigger their homeowner’s insurance policy. Most of these plans have a “property and casualty clause” that covers accidents caused by the homeowner’s negligence.
Consult Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers about Your Trip and Fall Case
If you are injured because of a broken sidewalk, it can be tricky to figure out who you should file a claim against and how. Consult a trip and fall lawyer at Feller & Wendt, LLC to find the best legal options for your case. For more than 25 years, we have been helping our clients navigate personal injury claims and secure fair compensation. Call us at (480) 702-2277 or submit our contact form to schedule a free legal consultation.