Although most of my cases as a Los Angeles accident lawyer involve vehicle accidents, many of you know that I also handle premises liability cases. In fact, a few weeks ago, I obtained thousands of dollars for a client who tripped and fell, breaking her shoulder in the process.
Premises liability cases, also known as “trip-and-fall” or “slip-and-fall” cases are more common than you think, and they can cause devastating injuries.
A surprising number of trip-and-fall cases in Los Angeles are caused by broken, cracked, or elevated sidewalks. Anyone who lives in LA can attest to the sad nature of some of our area sidewalks.
The good news is that now there’s an app which concerned citizens can use to report dangerous sidewalks. The app is called “My311LA”, and it’s available for Android and iPhone.
I’ve used the app myself. In one instance, the City put warning signs (like the ones pictured here) in front of the damaged sidewalk about two weeks after I reported it.
It’s important to report dangerous sidewalks to the City as soon as possible. A key issue in all trip-and-fall cases is notice; ie, did the City know about the unsafe sidewalk?
A common argument the City uses to defend itself against trip-and-fall lawsuits is that since the City is responsible for thousands of miles of navigable walkways, it cannot be expected to know about every non-level sidewalk within its borders.
How do you get around this “pass-the-buck” argument? By reporting the unsafe sidewalk condition to the City, that’s how!
If you report an unsafe sidewalk to the City, it cannot argue it didn’t know about the unsafe condition the next time someone trips and is injured there. Hopefully the City will repair the unsafe condition before that happens, or can at least place warning signs there until it can.
If you see an unsafe sidewalk, transform your smartphone into an instrument of civic responsibility and report it.
And if you need help with your case, the Rabbi Lawyer is one phone call away.