Recently, you were out for a walk or jog in your North Carolina neighborhood. For one reason or another, you tripped or slipped and fell on the sidewalk, sustaining a serious injury. You may have incurred expensive medical bills, maybe you had to take time off work to recover. Do you know whom to hold accountable?
KRLD NewsRadio tackled this issue. Their findings can help you determine if you have a premises liability case or a suit against the city.
Right of way and responsibility
Some state laws deem that the city has the right of way regarding a sidewalk, but ultimately, a property owner bears the responsibility of repairing damaged sidewalks. For that reason, the cost of repair for the discovered defect splits between the property owner and the city.
If you do decide to pursue a case against the city, you could have an uphill battle ahead of you if yours is the notification the city has of the sidewalk defect. Say you inform the city of your injury and the sidewalk defect. Officials can drag their feet in making repairs, but if you are not the first person to alert the city of the same defect in the same sidewalk, you could receive damages for your injuries.
Even if the city learns of a dangerous sidewalk, officials may deem they are not responsible, the property owner is. Upon reaching such a decision, the city can deny a claim.
Approaching the property owner
You may have little choice but to approach the property owner about your injuries. Doing so could be the best, and only, way to recover damages.
This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.