The Federal Highway Administration has taken several safety measures to increase pedestrian safety while walking on the streets and sidewalks in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths. Despite so many measures, fatalities seem to be on the rise. Most of these accidents happen at night because pedestrians cannot clearly see the path.
When you get into a slip-and-fall accident on an uneven sidewalk, you may question whether the government or a private property owner is at fault. You can certainly bring a personal injury claim to recover your damages, but first, you must determine who the liable party is. Contact a slip and fall lawyer in Jersey City today to discuss your case.
How to determine who is responsible for the uneven sidewalk accident?
If you were injured on an uneven sidewalk, you might be wondering who owns the sidewalk. The government or a private property owner usually owns uneven sidewalks. An attorney can help you determine whether the sidewalk you fell on was owned by a private property owner (business owner or homeowner) or a government entity.
Depending on who was responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, your attorney will guide you on proceeding with the claim. If the sidewalk belonged to a private property owner, you can bring a personal injury claim and recover your damages. If it belonged to a government entity, you can still sue them and bring a claim, but special rules apply.
How can you sue the government?
Suing the government for causing your injuries can be intimidating. Generally, government entities have sovereign immunity, meaning they are protected from being sued by public citizens. However, this does not mean you cannot claim damages for the accident.
The New Jersey Tort Claims Act allows you to sue the municipality or state responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. However, there is one consideration of filing a Notice of Claim before you file a lawsuit. You must file this Notice of Claim within 90 days from the day of your accident; failing to do so can result in losing compensation.
Therefore, taking action immediately after the accident is recommended without wasting time.
Some important steps to take after falling on a hard sidewalk
You can take the following steps to strengthen your claim after falling and injuring yourself on a sidewalk.
- Assess your injuries and go to the doctor.
- Take photos.
- Speak to witnesses.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Contact a lawyer.
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