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Sidewalk Defect Injuries in California: Your Legal Rights

Posted by Russell S. Kohn, Esq. | Jan 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

In California, injuries can occur in many different places and under various circumstances. One common area where injuries happen is on sidewalks. Sidewalks are an integral part of our communities, providing pedestrians with safe paths to walk, run, or bike. However, when sidewalk defects are present, these seemingly harmless walkways can turn into hazards that lead to falls, injuries, and legal claims.

In this blog post, we'll explore the common types of sidewalk defects, the responsibilities of property owners and municipalities, and what you should do if you've been injured due to a sidewalk defect. Remember, if you or someone you know has suffered an injury in California due to a sidewalk defect, it's essential to promptly seek legal assistance to protect your rights.

Common Types of Sidewalk Defects:

Sidewalk defects can take many forms, and each presents its own set of dangers to pedestrians. Some of the most common types of sidewalk defects include:

  1. Cracks and Uneven Surfaces: Cracked or uneven sidewalk surfaces can easily trip pedestrians, leading to falls and injuries.
  2. Potholes: Potholes can form due to wear and tear or weather-related factors, creating tripping hazards.
  3. Tree Roots: Tree roots that grow beneath sidewalks can cause upheaval, leading to raised sections of concrete that are dangerous to pedestrians.
  4. Lack of Maintenance: Neglected or poorly maintained sidewalks can deteriorate over time, becoming more dangerous with each passing day.
  5. Debris and Obstacles: Sidewalks cluttered with debris, trash, or other obstacles can create dangerous conditions for pedestrians.

Responsibilities of Property Owners and Municipalities:

Property owners and municipalities in California have a legal duty to maintain safe sidewalks. Property owners are generally responsible for the sidewalks adjacent to their properties, while municipalities are responsible for public sidewalks. Here are some key responsibilities:

  1. Regular Inspections: Property owners should regularly inspect and maintain sidewalks to identify and address defects promptly.
  2. Tree Maintenance: Property owners must ensure that nearby trees do not cause damage to sidewalks, either by trimming tree roots or removing hazardous trees.
  3. Prompt Repairs: When defects are identified, property owners and municipalities should act promptly to repair them and make the sidewalks safe for pedestrians.
  4. Warning Signs: In cases where immediate repairs cannot be made, property owners or municipalities should place warning signs to alert pedestrians to potential hazards.

Taking Legal Action:

If you've been injured due to a sidewalk defect, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To protect your legal rights, consider the following steps:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is paramount. Get the necessary medical care and document your injuries.
  2. Gather Evidence: Take photos of the defect, your injuries, and the accident scene. Collect contact information from witnesses.
  3. Report the Incident: Inform the property owner or municipality about the incident and obtain a copy of the incident report if possible.
  4. Consult with an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney promptly to discuss your case and determine your legal options.

The Kohn Law Office has successfully handled countless sidewalk defect injury cases.  Please refer to our website for more information and client testimonials.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a sidewalk defect in San Diego County California, don't hesitate to seek legal counsel. The Kohn Law Office has a proven track record of helping individuals like you navigate personal injury claims and obtain the compensation they deserve. Our experienced team is ready to advocate for your rights and guide you through the legal process.

Contact the Kohn Law Office promptly at (760) 721-8182 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your sidewalk defect injury. Your path to recovery starts with a call to our experienced and caring attorneys.

About the Author

Russell S. Kohn, Esq.

What Makes Attorney Russell S. Kohn Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? As the founder of the Kohn Law Office, Attorney Kohn has limited his practice to representing injured victims in car accidents, wrongful death, and premises liability matters since 1987. Mr. Kohn is a lawyer for people, and...


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