Premises Liability: Sidewalk SafetyTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. October 11, 2018
Falls on Florida sidewalks are a common slip and fall injury. Falling on a sidewalk can cause serious and sometimes permanent injuries. That’s why sidewalk falls are one of the most common bases for negligence lawsuits.
Common Examples of Unsafe Sidewalks
Sidewalks can be dangerous due to negligence and a failure to properly maintain and repair the sidewalk. Unsafe sidewalk conditions may include:
- Cracked or broken sidewalks
- Wet, slippery, or icy sidewalks
- Exposed tree roots in the sidewalk
- Uneven sidewalk slabs
- Debris left on the sidewalk
- Sinking sidewalks
If you’ve been injured in a fall on a defective sidewalk, be sure to take photographs of any defects that caused your fall. You should also seek medical treatment even if you’re not sure whether you’re seriously injured because some injuries aren’t immediately apparent.
Liability for Public Sidewalks
When you hire a personal injury attorney after your sidewalk accident, one of the first things the attorney will do is investigate to see who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. In Florida, cities and municipalities are generally responsible for the upkeep of public sidewalks and may be liable for your injuries. This is not a hard and fast rule. In some municipalities, there are ordinances that make it the responsibility of the homeowners to keep up the sidewalks. This depends on the details of the deeds and rules in each neighborhood.
Preventing Sidewalk Slip and Falls
While not all slips and falls on sidewalks are preventable, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself:
- Pay attention—texting while walking on the sidewalk can sometimes be as dangerous as texting and driving. Be sure you watch where you’re walking and stay aware of your surroundings.
- Walk slowly on a wet surface—you get better traction on wet surfaces if you move slowly and carefully
- Wear proper footwear—shoes that don’t fit correctly can make you more likely to fall on the sidewalk
- Don’t carry large objects that obstruct your view—walking on a sidewalk while effectively blind can be a very dangerous situation.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on a sidewalk, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.