The Dangers of Cracked and Poorly Maintained Sidewalks

DuPage County personal injury attorneyWhen you were in grade school, you may have played the game where you fervently attempted to walk on a cracked sidewalk without stepping on any cracks? You may have even joined in the sing-song chorus of “step on a crack, break your mama’s back!” Although this superstition is one of a long line of old wives’ tales, there is an increased risk of injury due to cracks in the sidewalk. Although it may not break your unsuspecting mother’s back, a crack in an unkempt sidewalk may, in fact, result in personal injuries.

Statistics of Sidewalk Injuries

Cracks, uneven payment, unexpected rises, potholes, debris, and ice and snow can all result in tripping, slipping, and falling on sidewalks. Although in many cases, a scrape or a bruise may be the worst of the injuries, other cases may cause broken bones, torn ligaments, concussions, or even death. According to federal estimates, the six most common causes of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries include:

  • Tripping on an uneven or cracked sidewalk: 24%
  • Tripping and falling (non-sidewalk related): 17%
  • Being hit by a car (crossing the street or on the sidewalk): 12%
  • Being attacked by an animal, including domestic or wild animals: 6%
  • Tripping on debris: 5% and
  • Stepping in a pothole: 5%

Who Is Accountable?

Sidewalk injury situations are complex and require in-depth knowledge and experience to build a credible case. These pathways often separate private property from public streets in an attempt to create a safe walkway for pedestrians to travel from one location to another. One or more parties may be at fault for failure to maintain the safe walking path, including:

  • Municipal, county, or state government entities;
  • Homeowners or property owners;
  • Business owners;
  • Pavers and concrete contractors;
  • Private maintenance companies; or
  • Cement manufacturers.

Injury Claims Involving the Government

Many sidewalk injury cases do involve local or municipal government, and each locale has a unique set of ordinances regarding the upkeep of roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. In some instances, liability is passed on to the person owning the adjoining property to where the incident occurred. In others, responsibility is put directly on the victim with laws stating that if the sidewalk was so obviously broken, the injury was avoidable. However, through a proper discovery process with research, witnesses, and documentation, building a strong case may be possible.

If you are interested in having those who are responsible for your injuries pay for your accumulating medical bills, you should retain an attorney to seek justice in your case. To discuss your case with an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney, contact our office. Call 630-920-8855 for a free consultation at Martoccio & Martoccio today.


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