Sherman Oaks residents deserve walkable neighborhoods, but buckled, damaged sidewalks are a fact of life in Los Angeles.  We know that cracks and bumps will develop, but what isn’t always clear is who’s to blame when someone gets hurt by these hazards.

Pedestrians are at risk for a fall any time surfaces are fragmented or suddenly drop or rise.  This danger is especially harrowing for disabled people who count on sidewalks to provide freedom of mobility.

Who is to Blame in a Sidewalk Accident?

As we’ll see, figuring out if the city of Los Angeles or a property owner is responsible for these hazards can be tricky.

If you are injured in a slip and fall along Sherman Oaks sidewalks a call to a local Premises Liability Attorney can make a big difference in your chances of getting compensation to help in your recovery.  Let the attornies at the Law Offices of Steers and Associates investigate the accident for you and determine who may be held liable for your injury.

Blame Trees for Sidewalk Damage

Los Angeles does make an effort to repair sidewalks around the city and in Sherman Oaks.  In 2015, they settled a lawsuit by agreeing to spend $1.4 billion repairing thousands of miles of cracked and broken walkways over the next 30 years.

The problem is in the magnitude of the undertaking.  In 2019, it was reported that the city receives on average 60 to 70 sidewalk repair requests per month, but can only fix about 10 to 15 on average.

Some of the problems took root years ago. The City of Los Angeles had a long term plan of planting trees along its streets. It looks nice, but growing tree roots are the number one cause of sidewalk damage. The city used to cover almost all sidewalk repairs due to tree roots, but now homeowners and business owners are sometimes on the hook for repair.

California State Law

The California Government Code (CGC)section 835 offers some guidance. It makes public entities liable for injuries proximately caused by foreseeably dangerous conditions on their property if they knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and had sufficient time to protect the public from it. Section 5610 of the California Streets and Highway Code is in conflict with CGC 835. It makes landowners abutting a sidewalk responsible for its maintenance.

The Los Angeles Sidewalk Ordinance

The California legislature gave municipalities the authority to enact their own city sidewalk liability ordinances. Los Angeles enacted its ordinance with Chapter VI section 62.104 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. It states that if the city planted a tree, and a sidewalk is damaged in the future by the tree’s roots, the city is required to make repairs at its cost. If the sidewalk was damaged by some other cause, the adjoining property owner is responsible for repairing it at their cost.

What to Do after a Sidewalk Trip and Fall Injury

Facing the city of Los Angeles and even property owners after a sidewalk mishap will be an uphill battle.  A personal injury lawyer can help even the odds in these cases.  A trip and fall can result in a variety of injuries, from chipped teeth or broken noses to severe and traumatic injuries.

Along with the threat to your health and mobility, an accident can leave you with expensive medical bills and a loss of wages from missed time at work.

It’s important to detail everything in the aftermath of the accident so that you have a strong case.  Follow these steps:

  • Take pictures. All iPhones and Android phones have decent cameras. Take several pictures of the cracked, uneven, buckled, or otherwise dangerous sidewalk condition which caused you to trip and fall.
  • Obtain witness contact information if possible.
  • Seek medical attention, get full medical documentation and follow all of your doctor’s advice.

Contact a Sherman Oaks Sidewalk Injury Attorney

The best thing to do when injured in fall on a sidewalk is to talk to a Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney who understands the law and has experience getting injured victims the compensation they need for a complete recovery.

Call the Law Firm of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of personal injury, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and protect your rights as a victim.