Watch Your Step: Personal Injury on the Sidewalk
In Texas, sidewalks serve a host of purposes to pedestrians. Sidewalks were originally designed to grant pedestrians a safe channel of passage next to the road. Many people enjoy walking to nearby destinations via sidewalks, and in some cases, walking is preferable to driving. Athletes also perform exercises by running on sidewalks, while dog owners use them to walk their pets. Many sidewalks also provide a buffer of safety between local amenities, such as a playground, and a road packed with vehicles.
While sidewalks are immensely helpful to pedestrians, they can also become a safety hazard in certain conditions. As a responsible pedestrian, parent, pet owner, or driver, you should know the risks of sidewalks and who is responsible for any personal injuries caused by a sidewalk hazard.
Sidewalks can present a number of safety hazards to people who use them. Here are a few greater threats you may face:
- Reckless drivers. While sidewalks are certainly safer than walking on the side of the road itself, they do not fully protect you from reckless drivers. Drivers who are operating their vehicles recklessly may swerve off the road and onto sidewalks without warning. This can result in a car accident with severe injuries or even death, especially if pedestrians on the sidewalk are involved. Always be sure to stay alert of other drivers when using a sidewalk.
- Poor Conditions. While out for a stroll on the sidewalk, you may find yourself in poor weather conditions. Small thunderstorms can often form up in little time and descend upon you without warning, bringing torrents of rain, powerful wind, and even lightning. All of this combined can make walking on a sidewalk a dangerous scenario. Rain can cause slippery surfaces, wind can cause a loss of balance, and lightning can hinder visibility. You may slip and fall on the sidewalk--or worse, onto the road.
- Negligent management. If a public property owner owns a sidewalk, such as those found near grocery stores or amusements parks, he or she is responsible to maintain the safety of that sidewalk. Sidewalks are prone to cracks, uneven surfaces, weed overgrowth, and other hazards that can impair a pedestrian’s ability to safely navigate the pavement.
Who is Responsible?
Who is responsible for personal injury on sidewalks depends on the situation. If a reckless driver is at fault for an accident that caused you personal injury, then the driver is responsible for providing you compensation for all damages suffered. Unfortunately, it is difficult, if not impossible, to file a case if the weather itself caused your personal injury. However, if the weather impaired your ability to see a crack in the sidewalk, or if you tripped on uneven surfaces that was a result of improper management, you may be able to file a negligence claim against the property owner.
What Should I Do if I am Injured on a Sidewalk?
Proving fault in sidewalk personal injury cases can be difficult. Therefore, the first thing you should do after an accident is contact Colley & Colley. By bringing expert knowledge and skill to your case, we will fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact an experienced attorney in East Texas today.