Premises liability suit filed over fall on broken sidewalk

Property owners in Alameda have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors or other people using the property. When a property owner's negligence causes someone to suffer an injury, a premises liability claim can help the victim recover compensation.

An incident from across the Bay serves as a good reminder. According to reports, a woman was walking down the sidewalk when she stumbled on a protruding section of sidewalk that had been dislodged by roots growing below it. The segment jutted up at least an inch from the surrounding sidewalk. The woman fell and suffered injuries to her shoulder, hand and knee on one side; she also suffered facial injuries and broke a tooth.

Initially, the victim tried to sue the city for failing to adequately maintain the sidewalk and repair the damage or post warnings to pedestrians regarding the broken segment. That lawsuit led to the identification of the owners of the property adjoining the sidewalk, claiming that they were responsible for its lack of repair. She recently initiated a premises liability claim against these parties, seeking compensation for her losses, including her dental and medical bills.

Sometimes it can be unclear who one should name as a defendant in a premises liability lawsuit. Was the property public or private? Was the space shared by multiple entities, and if so, who ultimately bears responsibility for its upkeep?

It may sometimes be necessary to begin litigation against one defendant in order to get at the truth of who is the responsible party in the eyes of the law. A legal professional can help keep a complicated legal process on track and advise on strategies to obtain the compensation victims deserve.

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