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Who is liable when joggers get hurt by broken sidewalk?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2024 | Personal Injury

Warmer weather means more people going outside to enjoy the New Haven region. Plenty of people go for regular walks or even start jogging during the spring, summer and autumn. There are hundreds of miles of sidewalks in the greater New Haven area, many of which primarily service residential areas.

Pedestrians, joggers and anyone else using the sidewalk likely expect to travel safely and conveniently on the edge of the road. However, some people encounter poorly-maintained and dangerous sections of the sidewalk that put them at risk of serious injury.

How does sidewalk maintenance affect safety?

People generally do not look down at their feet when walking on paved surfaces. They expect an even, safe sidewalk ahead of them. They may look at the person walking with them or observe their surroundings, possibly by watching nearby vehicles to ensure their safety.

If someone encounters a section of uneven or broken sidewalk, they could potentially incur significant injuries. Joggers could potentially trip over uneven or broken sections of sidewalk. People can break bones or suffer brain injuries if they fall too fast.

In cases where people use mobility assistance devices, such as crutches, walkers or wheelchairs, dangerous sidewalks could be particularly concerning. In some cases, people may end up in traffic, where they could suffer even more serious injuries.

Who is liable for sidewalk injuries?

If someone gets hurt while jogging or walking on sidewalks in New Haven, they may believe they have to rely on their own health insurance to cover their expenses. However, they may be eligible to seek compensation from others.

Homeowners and businesses with properties adjacent to sidewalks typically have maintenance obligations. Those obligations do not just involve snow removal during the winter months. Property owners either need to reach out to municipal authorities to assist them in correcting sidewalk issues or they need to arrange to have contractors repair damaged and uneven sidewalks on their own.

The liability for injuries suffered by people on the sidewalks could very easily fall to property owners in many cases. In scenarios where municipal authorities have assumed responsibility for repairs, New Haven may also have a degree of liability. Businesses and homeowners typically have premises liability insurance that can help pay the expenses generated by a dangerous section of sidewalk.

Holding the right party accountable can help people reduce the harm caused by a premises liability issue. Uneven sidewalks are a safety concern that could cause medical expenses and diminish someone’s earning potential due to the poor choices of others. As such, those liable for such harm may need to be held accountable accordingly.


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