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Sidewalk Accidents: Common Examples and How to Prevent Them

Sidewalk Accidents: Common Examples and How to Prevent Them

Sidewalk accidents, which is one of the many personal injury case types we handle, can occur during any season. In the post below, we describe different types of common sidewalk accidents according to the seasons, tips for avoiding these issues, and why hiring a sidewalk slip and fall accident attorney might make sense if you get injured.

uneven sidewalks

How Maryland Defines Sidewalk Accidents

According to Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation’s website, “According to the Baltimore City Code, Article 26, Subtitle 10, property owners are responsible for maintaining their footways. In addition to keeping sidewalks free from ice and snow, residents are responsible for repairing their sidewalks should they become cracked or damaged.” If sidewalks are broken, cracked, scaled or off-grade, the city may issue a notice of violation to the homeowner. City residents who receive a footway violation have five days to respond and designate whether they will make the required repairs themselves or ask the city to do the work.

Given this responsibility for maintenance falling on property owners, they are also potentially liable for any injuries stemming from a footway being in poor condition. The following are common maintenance issues that may be faced throughout the year.

Potential Seasonal Hazards for Sidewalks and How to Prevent Them

Winter

Potential Hazards:

  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • Snow and the objects it covers

Tips for Preventing Them:

  • Ahead of a storm, place rock salt or an ice melter on your sidewalks
  • Once the snow or ice storm has passed, shovel your sidewalks and place snow/ice in a pile that will not further obstruct the thoroughfare
  • Clear any fallen branches
  • Check for and document any new cracks in sidewalks that may impact someone’s ability to walk past; report to DOT

Spring and Summer

Potential Hazards:

  • Rain and resultant flooding and soil run-off
  • Fallen branches
  • Pollen

Tips for Preventing Them:

  • Periodically clear any fallen branches and sweep your sidewalk to keep it free from run-off or pollen that may have settled on the ground after a storm
  • Power wash your sidewalk with an environmentally-safe cleaner to clear off mildew, dirt, and mold that may build with warmer, more humid weather
  • Check for and document any new cracks in sidewalks that may impact someone’s ability to walk past; report to DOT

Fall

Potential Hazards:

  • Fallen and wet leaves
  • Pollen
  • Fallen branches and nut casings

Tips for Preventing Them:

  • Every week, make time to rake and bag leaves for collection; Baltimore City Public Works will collect 5 bags every week from your address or you can schedule a special pick-up for up to 20 bags
  • Power wash your sidewalk one more time before winter sets-in to clear off mildew or dirt build
  • Clear any fallen branches
  • Check for and document any new cracks in sidewalks that may impact someone’s ability to walk past; report to DOT

Facing a Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit?

Speak with the Albers & Associates legal team to work with an experienced Baltimore region sidewalk slip and fall accident attorney. With two locations in Baltimore City and years of serving residents, we are ready to help. Begin by calling or requesting a case consultation using our online contact form.