“Is the city liable if I trip and hurt myself on the sidewalk”
This is a very common question we come across. The answer, in a nutshell, is the city may be labile if they knew about the damage. The city has approximately 10,750 miles of sidewalk. It would not be reasonable to expect the city to know about every inch of sidewalk. However, if a complaint was formally made, and adequate time for repair was given, the city may be liable for an injury that occurred after such time – if it can be proven that a true danger existed.
Although the city council seems to be making an effort to shift the burden to the homeowner, the current law still stands. The City of Los Angeles is responsible for their sidewalks. It seems logical, as it is the city’s property. Moreover, the City planted the trees that cause the issues!
The media has been all over this item. There is an excellent video produced by KCET that goes over this issue that I highly recommend. See below.
The Los Angeles Times also recently published an article – not much on the issue of liability – but on the issue of who maintains the burden of fixing the sidewalks. The LA Times estimates that a whopping 42% of the city’s streets are in need of repair. The KCET article discusses the fact that lawsuits against the City cost around 5 million dollars a year: “Those lawsuits now cost Los Angeles up to 5 million dollars a year. Some City officials say it’s just cheaper to pay that than spend the billion of dollars it would take to fix the sidewalks.”
Keep in mind, though, not all sidewalks are created equal. For example, just because there is a foot high crack – it does not mean that the city may automatically be liable. The same goes for the opposite situation: just because there is a one inch crack, it does NOT mean the city will NOT be liable. A professional sidewalk injury lawyer in Los Angeles should be consulted if you were injured as a result of a sidewalk or any other private or public property. Different legal principles may apply to your scenario.
Courtesy: KCET article
Personal Injury Lawyer – Sidewalk Injury Lawyer Los Angeles