As a follow up to our introductory guide on trip and fall accidents that covers the de minimis rule and gives case examples, we’ve put together this FAQ. If you are injured because of a trip and fall on an uneven sidewalk or floor defect, here are answers to some questions you may have.
- What Is a Tripping Hazard?
- How Common Are Trip and Fall Injuries?
- Who Is Responsible? Can You Sue the City for Tripping on a Sidewalk?
- Should I Seek Medical Attention from Tripping on a Sidewalk?
- Who Should I Tell About My Fall?
- Should I Take Pictures of What Caused My Fall?
- How Do I Report a Trip Hazard on a Sidewalk?
- How Do I Know if I Have a Trip and Fall Injury Case?
What Is a Tripping Hazard?
An uneven or cracked sidewalk or defective floor is a serious hazard. Not recognizing this defect in advance may cause someone to seriously injure themselves. Falling because of this hazard will start a trail of questions. Some questions can be easily answered by a google search. While other questions may need to be discussed with a professional and experienced Chicago slip and fall personal injury lawyer.
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How Common Are Trip and Fall Injuries?
According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts from 2016, 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This number includes both fatal and non-fatal injuries. Alarmingly, falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide according to the World Health Organization.
Who Is Responsible? Can You Sue the City for Tripping on a Sidewalk?
Depending on where you fell, the responsible party may be either a municipality, like a city or township, or a private owner. It is possible you may be able to sue the city where you fell on a sidewalk, because the responsible party in your slip and fall case is determined by figuring out who controls and maintains the area of your accident.
Should I Seek Medical Attention from Tripping on a Sidewalk?
Yes. Seeking medical attention whether you immediately feel injured or not is important. An accidental fall on a hard surface can have serious effects on the body. Some injuries sustained as a result of a ground or flooring defect are sprains, broken bones, and head injuries. All of these injuries are serious and may not be immediately apparent; therefore, getting care from a medical professional after a fall is important.
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Who Should I Tell About My Fall?
Depending on where the fall occurred, you should report it to whomever you believe to be the owner of the property. In Illinois, if you believe that the owner is the municipality or township, you should call or email your local city hall to file a complaint. If the owner is private, such as a hotel, businesses, or private home, it is important that the complaint is memorialized to the owner.
Should I Take Pictures of What Caused My Fall?
How Do I Report a Trip Hazard on a Sidewalk?
In Illinois, you can report a sidewalk trip hazard to the municipality or the private owner. It is important to note that some municipalities have a 50/50 program, where the responsibility to repair the defective sidewalk is shared between the municipality and the private owner. For example, when an uneven sidewalk is in front of someone’s home, you need to report the defect to the municipality and the homeowner. To report an uneven sidewalk or ground defect that either caused or may cause an injury to someone, click the links below to report them for the following cities:
How Do I Know if I Have a Trip and Fall Injury Case?
If you’ve been injured by a trip and fall on a sidewalk or uneven flooring, trying to figure out if you have a case on your own may be hard. Call the Kryder Law Group, LLC at 312-223-1700, we can help you answer all the hard questions.