According to Visit Houston, the city of Houston has 2.2 million residents, making it the fourth largest city in America. Unlike New York, where many people do not even own a car, Houston is known for being a city where most people drive to work, social gatherings, and other commitments. Even so, with such a large population, there are plenty of pedestrians who use walking as a means of getting around the city. The sidewalks in Houston can vary in terms of their state of disrepair, which can present the risk of injury by tripping and falling. Poorly maintained sidewalks become cracked and uneven, while sidewalks with temporary metal grates installed during maintenance can bend and present their own hazards.
Who is Liable?
As the Houston Chronicle points out, City Hall itself is only responsible for a few areas of pedestrian use within Houston. These areas are around schools, high-traffic areas, and places that need to have disability access. Beyond this, the City of Houston only provides estimates and oversees maintenance or upgrade of city streets. For strip malls, plazas, apartment complexes, or other places of business, it becomes the responsibility of the owners and property managers to maintain safe sidewalks. Similarly, homeowners are responsible for the sidewalks in front of their homes.
Warning Signs that a Sidewalk is Dangerous
If a sidewalk is unsafe, impassable, or under construction, then it is up to the property managers or homeowners to put up sidewalk closure signs. Failing to do so puts them at risk should someone get hurt on their property. If you are injured on a sidewalk with danger or warning signs present, that may be enough to protect the owner from an injury claim. However, if there was no warning, then you have the right to seek damages for medical costs, lost wages, long-term disability, and more.
Types of Sidewalk Injuries
A serious fall due to unmaintained walking surfaces can mean a trip to the hospital, surgeries, physical therapy, time away from work and family, and more. Injuries from tripping and falling include:
- Ankle and foot injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Chronic back pain;
- Broken hip;
- Broken arm or wrist;
- Scrapes, cuts and lacerations; and
- Open head injuries.
Contact a Pedestrian Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have slipped or fallen on a sidewalk that was not properly maintained, it is important you take pictures of the scene immediately, in case conditions change. Then contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Michael P. Fleming & Associates. Chances are, you were walking along an area of sidewalk that was neglected by a company or a property owner. If that is the case, you deserve to be compensated for the damages. Damages can include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and much more. The personal injury attorneys at Michael P. Fleming and Associates can help you obtain all the documentation you need to build a successful claim and fight on your behalf with insurance adjusters. Call us today for a free initial consultation.