You have the right to take legal action for injuries sustained by other people and parties’ negligence. However, local governments often have legal measures in place to protect themselves and their employees from litigation, making it difficult to win without legal representation.
Speak with one of our Michigan trip and fall lawyers at Fieger Law to help you understand your legal options for suing the city after a fall on a public sidewalk. We can walk you through the process and ensure you file all documentation on time for your case.
Common Injuries from Sidewalk Falls
The roots of trees, the freeze and thaw between winter and summer, and negligence during construction all contribute to uneven sidewalks. Sidewalk surfaces can buckle or become uneven and dangerous to pedestrians over time due to lack of maintenance and repair by the city.
Falling on an uneven or hazardous sidewalk can cause severe injuries such as:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones, such as hips, legs, and arms
- Shoulder injuries, such as dislocations and muscle tears
A personal injury lawsuit against the city may help you recover the costs of your medical treatment and any lost wages resulting from a trip and fall on an uneven public sidewalk.
Our experienced premises liability attorneys at Fieger Law can analyze your case and determine if the city is liable for your accident. We can help you understand what it takes to file a lawsuit against the city and gather evidence to help you win.
Can You Sue the City After Falling on an Uneven Sidewalk?
A valid slip-and-fall accident claim against a city government requires proving the following factors:
- The city government had a duty of care to repair and maintain the sidewalk
- The city breached its duty of care and failed to take action to correct the dangerous aspect of the sidewalk in a timely manner
- You suffered injuries and damages due to the city’s negligence
Many states, counties, and cities require following strict procedures to file a claim against them, even if they acted negligently and caused your injury. In Michigan, for instance, you have significantly less time to file a claim against the city than you would for a typical injury claim. Your attorney from Fieger Law can work with you to help you submit your notice on time and begin your lawsuit.
Strict Evidence to Prove the City Government’s Liability for a Sidewalk
Many states require solid evidence to establish municipal liability for a sidewalk in order to file a claim. For instance, a municipal government in Michigan isn’t liable for sidewalk defects unless you are able to prove they were aware of, or should have known about, the sidewalk defect. If the municipality maintains a sidewalk, they are presumed to do so in good condition.
You may only challenge this presumption with evidence showing the sidewalk as having a dangerous condition or defect at least 2 inches large. Regardless, the municipal government will likely use common premises liability defenses to argue that your injury is your own fault. For example, they may argue that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious” enough that you should have avoided it on your own. Hiring a lawyer can help you fight back against these defenses.
Tort claims acts require giving notice to the government entity within a specific timeframe so they can approve the claim. This is why it is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after being injured on public property, including public roads and sidewalks.
Many states have financial limits for recovering money from government entities. Liability claims against state or local governments in Michigan are limited to economic damages. A government body may be liable for noneconomic damages if there is a severe impairment of a physical function, a permanent severe disfigurement, or death. There needs to be factual, undisputed evidence of an injury for you to receive noneconomic damages.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
If you are injured after falling on a city sidewalk, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, pursuing a legal claim against a city or municipality can be challenging and requires expertise in navigating the complex laws and timelines of cases involving local governments.
An experienced attorney from Fieger Law can help. Our attorneys are familiar with state and local laws governing sidewalk maintenance and liability and can help protect your rights throughout the legal process.
With decades of experience handling personal injury cases, we have the knowledge and resources needed to successfully represent clients who have been injured on poorly maintained and dangerous city sidewalks. We will investigate the circumstances of your fall and collect evidence, such as photos of the sidewalk, medical reports, and witness statements, to file a timely claim on your behalf against the city.
At Fieger Law, we will work tirelessly to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Talk with Fieger Law After a Trip and Fall Accident
When suing the city after a trip and fall accident, Fieger Law has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complex legal process of filing your claim against the government. Our nationally recognized attorneys can help you hold the government accountable and get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.