Fault depends on ownership, possession, or control of the sidewalk that caused your injury. In Los Angeles, sidewalks may be owned, possessed, or controlled by the local municipality, such as the city or County; homeowner; or commercial property owner. Generally, the local municipality is responsible for sidewalk maintenance. However, there may be disputes between these persons regarding ownership, possession, or control. An experienced slip and fall attorney will thoroughly investigate the applicable ordinances and land records to determine which persons are responsible for sidewalk maintenance.
There are additional factors that affect the property owner’s responsibility for your trip and fall. If the sidewalk is unevenly raised less than one inch, it is deemed a “trivial defect.” In such cases, the Court may rule that the property owner was not required to repair this condition. Additionally, when the uneven or raised portion of the sidewalk is caused by a tree’s roots, the at-fault person is the owner of such tree.
If you are injured as a result of a trip and fall on a sidewalk, it is important that you not only save the shoes worn during your fall, but also not wear them again. Those shoes may be needed to prove that they were appropriate for sidewalk use and did not cause your fall and injuries.
Generally, lawsuits must be filed in Court within the applicable statute of limitations. Slip and fall cases must be filed within two years from the date of injury. If the plaintiff fails to file his or her lawsuit within such period of time, his or her case will be dismissed by the Court. As such, you should immediately contact a slip and fall attorney after your injury occurs.