Tripped and Fell on a Sidewalk in Los Angeles?

Here’s what you need to know.

If you were injured after tripping and falling on a public sidewalk, you deserve compensation for your injuries.  As anyone who lives in the City of Los Angeles can attest to, the sidewalks are in a severely bad state.

Who is legally responsible for the injuries caused by the accident? The answer is not as clear as one may think, and it varies depending on the circumstances of each specific incident. In some cases, the government (typically the City or County) may be liable for a slip/trip and fall incident. However, homeowners may also be held liable if they were responsible for creating the danger on the sidewalk.

CITY LIABLE FOR CREATING DANGEROUS CONDITION

Often, the City fails to fix sidewalks that were damaged by trees planted by the City itself, or by potholes not properly addressed. There are unique laws regarding trees intersecting land and potholes in sidewalks. At ANAND LAW, we investigate each situation in detail to determine all possible bases for liability and recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.

CITY LIABLE EVEN IF IT DIDN’T CREATE THE DANGER

If you were involved in a slip/trip and fall on a public sidewalk, it is important to determine whether the City had constructive notice of the danger. Even if the City didn’t cause the danger, the City is liable if the condition created on the sidewalk existed long enough that the City had sufficient time to discover and:

  • Repair the condition
  • Protect against harm from the condition
  • Adequately warn of the condition

LIABILITY EVEN IF THE UNSAFE CONDITION WAS OBVIOUS NAD YOU SAW IT BEFORE BEING INJURED

Even if the unsafe condition was so obvious that a warning sign was not necessary to observe the danger, the government may still be liable. In these types of cases, the City often claims that they are not liable because the danger was obvious and could have been avoided.  However, the danger should also have been obvious to the City, and should have therefore been addressed before an injury occurred.

In some cases, the danger may have been obvious, but there may have been a practical necessity to encounter the danger. For example, say there is a puddle of water on a sidewalk which formed due to uneven paving and cracks in the ground.  You can see the puddle, but it takes up the whole sidewalk and the only way you can see to get to your car is to go through the puddle.   You are entitled to compensation if injured under this scenario.  If there was a practical necessity for you to encounter the obvious risk to get to your destination, the government is liable.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASSUME THAT PUBLIC PATHWAYS ARE SAFE TO WALK ON

The law requires the government to conduct reasonable inspections of public property. A pedestrian has the right to assume that the City followed the law and made reasonable inspections. The City cannot wait until complaints and must proactively inspect the property that they own.  ANAND LAW is equipped with the tools and experience to investigate and document all wrongdoing by all potentially liable parties. We also have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you recover full compensation, including for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Contact us today.

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The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained is not intended to be a complete recitation of the law, and is provided only as general information in an area—it may not contain all nuances of the law, and is not guaranteed to be correct or complete.  ANAND LAW PC (“ALPC”) expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the information contained in the FAQ.

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