Can You Sue the City if You Slip and Fall on the Street?

Many accidents do happen on the streets. You can slip and fall, get into an obstruction and fall, or any other accident. Slipping and falling on a street can cause a serious accident either on its own or hit by a vehicle. When such happens, you have to look into your rights and see who can be held for negligence. 

Accidents that happen on public footpaths or walkaways can be compensated if you follow the required rules and regulations. You can consult your lawyer and file for a liability lawsuit, injury claim, or wrongful death claim, depending on the accident. Here are some details concerning these claims.

When is a City Liable For the Slip and Fall on the Street?

Before suing the city for your fall, you need to check on the factors that may make one sue the city. First, you need to know that the city is liable only if their negligence led to your falling on the street and must prove so. Falling without cause or by accident does not warrant anyone to sue the city. You might be filing a case which you’ll lose. Also, if there are slippery matters or ice on the street, it does not mean that the city is liable for your slip and fall. For you to sue the city, the conditions therein must be unsafe for anyone to walk through. According to law experts from, the conditions must result from the council’s negligence. To prove this case, you must prove to the court that the council knew about the condition or were supposed to know the unsafe condition before the accident happened. 

Liabilities for Slipping on the Street

Slipping and falling on the street can be caused by many factors. It can either be caused by the snow, ice, spilled oil, poorly maintained streets, or inappropriate materials used to construct the streets. There might be other reasons which must be approved by the court. You need to know that municipalities can only repair pavements and clear snow and ice on public streets and pavements instead of private residences. If the accident occurred in private residences, then they have no hand on it. If it happened on the public pavement or street, you can go ahead and sue them. If you fall into private property, then you can sue the owner of the property. If you are on the public road or street, you can sue the property owner or the municipal, depending on the allocation and the interpretation of the law. 

Evidence Required

In case you get an accident on the public road or street, first, you need to gather the evidence that should be used in a court of law to show that you slipped and fell. Immediately after the accident, you should take photos of the accident scene, injuries sustained during the accident, and anything else around the accident scene. You also need to take photos of your clothes and the stains, if any. If possible, never wash the clothes until when the case is heard and determined. You need photos of the accident scene because ice melts, and the impact of the accident might cause it to melt faster and interfere with the evidence. You need to take photos immediately to prove that there was ice and it caused your fall.

When Should You File for a Claim?

These cases are always time-limited, and you need to rush with time if you want to be compensated. First, you need to follow the laid procedure strictly to be compensated for your fall. To follow the procedure, you need to file the case within 30 days or less, depending on the area the accident happened. 

Secondly, you have to provide details of your claim and where the accident happened. You have to narrate the circumstances that led to the accident and sustained injuries. Lastly, you have to state the amount of compensation depending on the injuries sustained during the fall. Remember that your compensation must be realistic. 

Rules for Filing the Claim

Just as highlighted above, to be compensated by a municipal, state, or government, some laws need to be followed to the latter and within a specified time. Some of these rules include:

    • Deadlines: All applications to government agencies are ruled by deadlines through a ‘statute of limitations.’ In normal cases, one can take 1 to 10 years to file for a claim. In government agencies, such needs to be done in a duration of between 1 to 3 months. This situation means you need to file for compensation within the first three months after the accident.
    • Procedures: some procedures need to be followed when filing the case. You have to follow the laid down process, including sending the notice to the correct municipal department. Failing to do so will make you lose the case.
    • Financial Limits: Most municipalities’ claims do not go above $10000. Also, the contingency fee for the attorney gets controlled by the state. Meaning what you’ll pay to your lawyer is regulated by law. These restrictions are mostly made to make individuals and attorneys stop pursuing the case facing the state or any other government agency. This situation means you need to discuss with your attorney and see how to go about it. 
    • Sovereign Immunity: Sometimes, regardless of the circumstances, the government gets immunity from cases involving certain types of injuries. This immune, also known as sovereign immunity, varies from one state to another and prevents the state, governments, or municipalities from being sued for injuries or offering compensation. 

Cities are responsible for maintaining the state of our roads, streets, and walkaways. Most of the city’s spaces are under their care, and they need to be maintained regularly to avoid accidents. Accidents, including slipping and falling, are devastating both to the mind and the body. Injuries sustained can be fatal or make one never to live their normal life. Since municipalities are protected by the law and have limits on compensation, suing them without a lawyer can be complicated. When you get involved in such, you need to find a reputable lawyer who will take you through the process and ensure you are compensated according to the law.