Premises liability is the legal term for the financial and legal responsibility a property owner has to visitors. Both businesses and residential property owners have some premises liability for the properties they own, rent or manage.
Sidewalks are a frequent source of premises liability claims. Improper maintenance of sidewalks can be a serious issue. While the Jasper area doesn’t see enough snow in any given year to make weather-related sidewalk maintenance a concern, the property owner still needs to make sure that their sidewalk is solid and even, or they could risk civil lawsuits or insurance claims.
How do broken or uneven sidewalks put people at risk?
Improperly-maintained sidewalks can be quite dangerous. If there is any disturbance to the ground underneath due to freezing during unusually harsh winter weather or due to roots from a nearby tree, the sidewalk could heave. One end could become higher than the other, or it could crack in multiple places. These changes could happen seemingly overnight or could take months or occur.
If property owners don’t perform regular inspections and make repairs when necessary, problems could arise. A person in a wheelchair or on crutches could suffer a severe injury or wind up in traffic because of a section of uneven sidewalk. Even pedestrians who don’t watch their feet carefully could trip on an uneven section and break bones or suffer head injuries.
Someone who tripped over a broken sidewalk or someone hurt in an incident caused by an uneven sidewalk may have grounds to bring an insurance claim against the homeowner or a business. They might also be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the party responsible for maintenance. Understanding who has premises liability for your recent injury can help you seek repayment for your losses.