While walking is a part of day to day life, it can sometimes result in a serious injury. These incidents may occur due to lack of proper sidewalk maintenance. Serious falls can lead to concussions, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and much more. In such a case, medical attention should be sought immediately, while legal action may be taken after.
Examples of Accidents
There are several ways someone could be injured while walking on a sidewalk. Possible factors may include:
- Damage to the sidewalk
- Weather conditions (snow, ice, water)
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
Injuries that happen as a result of these factors must be addressed within a certain time period. While it differs from town to town, Baltimore property owners have 24 hours after the last snowfall to clean snow and ice from their sidewalk. A legal case may not exist if it was a risk to walk during the cleanup time. This is often the case when dealing with snow or ice. In Maryland, the injured party must present their case against a private citizen or a commercial property owner within 3 years. For a case against the town or community, the person has 1 year from the incident to file a claim intending legal action.
When trying to investigate who is accountable for the sidewalk injury, it is important to understand who exactly is obligated to monitor it. In Baltimore, the property bordering the sidewalk is subject to take care of the sidewalk’s condition. Those liable for it can be private citizens, stores, private companies, and even the community.
Burden of Proof
In order for a case to be successful, the injured must prove the property owner was negligent. This is what is known as the “burden of proof.” The burden of proof is evidence that shows the property owner knew about the state the sidewalk was in and did not take action to fix it. Documentation of the incident, such as pictures or witnesses, can be helpful as information to back up your case.
If the injured provides a successful case, they may be able to receive monetary compensation due to the injury. This may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical bills as a result of the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you have been injured in a sidewalk accident and wish to speak with an attorney about your best course of action, contact the Law Offices of Decker, Tychostup & Friedman, LLC today.
Decker, Tychostup & Friedman, LLC is comprised of experienced personal injury, criminal defense, and family law attorneys. Our firm is proud to serve clients in Baltimore, Maryland. If you require strong legal representation that will fight to protect your future, contact the attorneys at Decker, Tychostup & Friedman, LLC to schedule a consultation.