Every year, Rhode Island residents suffer bone fractures and head injuries due to defects in sidewalks. While these injuries can be caused by loose gravel, cracked or irregular pavement, or an icy surface, they all have one thing in common: they were preventable. In most cases, the person who could have prevented the injury will be the liable party in an injury claim.
Parties Who May Be Liable for a Sidewalk Slip and Fall
One of the most important concerns in a slip and fall case is the portion of the victim’s own negligence. Under Rhode Island’s comparative fault law, an injured person may be up to 99 percent at fault for an accident and still obtain damages. The damages will be reduced according to the percentage of fault, significantly affecting the amount of possible compensation.
Your attorney can examine the facts of the case to identify whether the responsible party is a:
- Business owner. Business owners owe a high standard of care to customers and others who are lawfully visiting the property. Part of this duty is ensuring all walkways are safe for use. If a hazard is discovered, a warning must be posted immediately, and repairs must be undertaken promptly.
- Property owner. Many people mistakenly assume that cities are always liable for injuries on uneven sidewalks. However, homeowners and owners of non-commercial properties do have some responsibility for maintaining their sidewalks, driveways, and walkways.
- Government entity. If the sidewalk was broken or damaged by a water main break, roots from a city-owned tree rising above the concrete, road construction, or street subsidence, a city government may be liable for damages.
- Maintenance company. Businesses and municipalities may rely on third-party contractors to perform groundskeeping and maintenance. If these companies do not remove hazards within a reasonable period of time or fail to complete repairs properly, they may be held responsible for injuries.
The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can help you get payment for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses after an injury—and we do not charge for our services until your case is resolved. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.