Can I Sue the City for Sidewalk Defects?
Pedestrians are faced with so many problems in the form of inconveniences and dangers that it is hard to keep track of. Intersections, driveways, and side streets where traffic intersects sidewalks or where sidewalks disappear are major hazards. Pedestrians are forced to choose between jaywalking and walking long distances to get to crosswalks, and in many cases no rational person would walk two blocks out of their way to cross the street. Pedestrians spend more time at timed stop lights than motor vehicle occupants due to their slower speed. The list goes on. Sidewalk design and maintenance can also be causes of injury to pedestrians.
Distracted and Aggressive Drivers are Not the Only Problem
Drivers are, of course, the greatest hazard to pedestrians. Whether they are distracted by talking or texting on their phones, running stop signs, speeding through intersections without paying attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk, or simply drunk behind the wheel, drivers kill and injure the majority of pedestrian traffic victims. However, drivers are only part of the problem. Many sidewalks are littered with cracks, potholes, uneven surfaces, broken or worn lips and edges, and other trip and fall hazards. If you were injured in a trip and fall, rolled or broke your ankle in a pothole, or were injured by a driver due to a sidewalk or other pedestrian infrastructure, such as a faulty crosswalk signal, you can take action by filing a personal injury claim with the local municipality charged with sidewalk construction and maintenance.
Just How Dangerous is it to be a Pedestrian?
Taking a stroll through the park, running to the grocery store, or commuting by foot to work is a great way to get outside, save money, help the environment, and get some exercise. It is also vastly more dangerous than driving by car. According to Making Way for Pedestrians and Bicycles, just under 11 percent of trips in the U.S. are made by foot, yet 17.2 percent of all traffic fatality victims are pedestrians, according to the National Safety Council. When adjusted to miles per fatality rate, walking appears to be even more dangerous. The average walking trip distance is just 0.62 miles, according to research. And, according to AAA, the average car trip is a little under 15 miles, nearly 30 times longer than the distance of the average walking trip. Even if pedestrians died at the same rate per trip as vehicle occupants (they are actually killed and severely injured at higher trip rates) when taking into account distance traveled, walking 30 times or 3,000 percent more dangerous per mile traveled than traveling as a vehicle occupant.
Reach Out to Our Orlando Defective Sidewalk Lawyers
Pedestrians have enough hazards as it is even without defective sidewalks. Cracks, uneven surfaces, and broken sidewalks are the responsibility of the city to fix. If the city neglected this duty and you were injured as a result, you can file a lawsuit for damages. The Orlando personal injury attorneys at the Payer Law Group are here to help. Call us at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation today.