What to do if You Injure Yourself on a Broken Public Sidewalk

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

One minute you are out walking the dog, and the next thing that you know, you have stumbled on a broken section of the sidewalk. You land hard, suffering significant injuries. Whether you have broken bones, a back injury, or fall into the street and get struck by a car, the harm from falling due to an unrepaired sidewalk can be substantial.

If you got hurt on a defective area of a public sidewalk, a California slip and fall accident attorney can evaluate whether you might have a claim for compensation and determine who might have to pay money damages for your losses.

Here are a few suggestions about what to do if you injure yourself on a broken public sidewalk: 

Three Things to Do After a Sidewalk Fall Injury

Some actions that you take after getting hurt on a sidewalk defect can affect your physical recuperation and the monetary value of your injury claim.

  • Get medical attention right away. People generally heal best if they go straight to the emergency room or urgent care center, whichever is appropriate, after getting hurt. Also, you might have undiscovered injuries that could be causing damage, like internal bleeding. Finally, your medical records will be valuable evidence that links your injuries to the fall accident. The longer the time interval between the injury and the medical attention, the harder it can be to prove that the fall caused your injuries.
  • Talk to a lawyer. Evidence can disappear within days or even hours. If you work with a premises liability lawyer from the beginning, the proof for your injury claim can get preserved. Also, when you work with an attorney, the defendant’s attorney is not allowed to contact you directly. Everything has to go through your lawyer. You will get to rest and save your energy for getting better rather than dealing with phone calls from a claims adjuster.
  • Stay off of social media. Whenever you have potential litigation pending, you and your family and friends should refrain from posting any photos or information about the accident or your injuries on social media. It would be best if you took a break from Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms entirely until after your injury claim gets resolved. An insurer can take things out of context in an attempt to pay you less money. 

Every situation is different. You should always do what makes sense in your circumstances.

Avoid Pitfalls

No matter how charming the claims adjuster might seem, remember that his job is to pay you as little money as possible for your injuries. You most likely do not want to accept the first settlement offer you get, as that offer could be lowball. 

Our state limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit seeking money damages from the responsible party. If you miss the deadline, you could lose the right ever to seek compensation. Some claims adjusters drag out the negotiations when a person does not have a lawyer, hoping that the deadline will pass, and the insurance company will not have to pay the injured person anything.

The law does not force you to work with a lawyer, but a California premises liability attorney can help you avoid these and other pitfalls after you get hurt on a broken public sidewalk, and go after compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your claim. 

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.