Former State's Attorney With Over 35 Years of Experience
People assume that if they walk on a sidewalk that they will be safe from accidents or injuries, but that isn’t always the case. There are sidewalk accidents that can result in severe injuries or death. Pedestrian sidewalk accidents usually happen in two main ways. The first is when distracted drivers run off the road and drive up onto the sidewalk. The second is when pedestrians walking on a poorly maintained sidewalk trip and fall into oncoming traffic.
Chicago has more than 4,000 miles of streets all lined with sidewalks. Although the majority of Chicago’s sidewalks are well cared for, the city spends millions on slip and fall claims with even more millions allocated for sidewalk repairs.
Who is liable for sidewalk accidents? Some homeowners say the city should pay because the city planted many of the trees that have destroyed sidewalks. On the other hand, some city officials say that many of these trees belong to the property owners.
In a 2015 case that made its way to the Illinois Supreme Court decision, a private citizen sued the city of Chicago for injuries sustained after falling on an unrepaired sidewalk. In the case, both the property owner and the city denied responsibility for the sidewalk repair.
The problem of uneven and cracked sidewalks in Chicago was such a concern that the city launched a Shared Cost Sidewalk Program to help split the cost of fixing sidewalks with homeowners.
Sidewalks can be made dangerously unsafe due to lack of maintenance, repair, and neglect, or by temporary conditions that are not swiftly corrected. Pedestrian sidewalk accidents are more common than some people may think. Common examples of unsafe sidewalks include:
Just falling down on the sidewalk in front of someone’s house is not grounds for a lawsuit. there has to be clear evidence of neglect.
Falling down because the sidewalk was wet from rain is not sufficient, however if the homeowner has a downspout directing a large amount of water towards the sidewalk that may be enough to win a lawsuit.
Slipping on ice that has been left from a storm is not sufficient, but if the homeowner has done something to cause extra ice to from on the sidewalk, then that be grounds for a lawsuit.
Little details will make the difference between a case that is won, and one that is lost. That is why you need an experienced lawyer in these types of sidewalk slip and fall accidents to help you.
Knowing who is liable in a sidewalk accident is crucial to obtaining a financial recovery. A complaint or lawsuit filed against the city or other municipal or government authority must be done according to different procedures and different timelines than a claim against a private property owner.
The Chicago sidewalk accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Brennan have been handling personal injury cases for over 35 years.
We know how frustrating personal injury cases can be. We provide advice on how to proceed with your case and your personal life while your claim is in process. We return every call and remain available to discuss the progress of your claim.
If you are victim of an accident or personal injury, you need representation. The Chicago Law Office of Michael J. Brennan stands ready to represent you. Call (708) 460-9300 for a free consultation today.