Whether you’ve been taking more walks to focus on your health or want to ensure your dog gets the exercise they need, walking around your city is a great way to get outside. However, when injured due to unsafe sidewalk conditions on municipal property, you may not know how to pursue compensation. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and how a Tom Green County, Texas personal injury lawyer can assist you through these challenging times.
What Makes a Sidewalk Dangerous?
Sidewalks are crucial to keeping pedestrians safe from passing vehicles. However, you may find that you’re unable to travel safely on foot when the sidewalks intended for pedestrians are also unsafe.
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that a sidewalk can be deemed unsafe. These hazards include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Excessive gaps in the sidewalk
- Tree roots lifting the sidewalk
- Cracks and holes
- Sunken areas
- Poor drainage
These hazards can create uneven footing or cause pedestrians to trip and fall. Unfortunately, falling on a sidewalk can lead to a number of issues, such as broken bones, sprains, contusions, back injuries, neck and spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injury.
Can a City Be Held Liable for an Unsafe Sidewalk?
In Texas, the sidewalk in front of residential or commercial property is the liability of the home or business owner. As such, you cannot hold the city liable for injuries sustained in these areas. However, when injured on a municipally owned property, the city can be held accountable, as they are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk on their property.
When pursuing legal action against a government agency in Texas, you must take different steps than if you were suing a private citizen. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, you must provide a notice of claim that details your intent to sue. You must include your contact information and a description of where, when, and how the injury occurred. It’s essential to note that while the statute of limitations for personal injuries in Texas is two years, you only have six months from the date of your injury to file this claim with the government. If you do not send the claim within the timeframe, you will be ineligible to pursue compensation.
If you’re looking to hold a government entity liable for their negligence in ensuring the sidewalks on municipal property are maintained and safe for pedestrians, it’s essential to contact an experienced personal injury attorney from the Mathis Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may find that holding a government agency responsible comes with many unique challenges, and an attorney can guide you through these complexities to fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. When you’re hurt, our firm can help. Contact us today to learn more.