Most of us walk along the sidewalk on a daily basis without ever giving consideration to our safety while doing so. A shallow pothole, crack in the pavement, misplaced item, or protruding root can shatter that illusion of security as you travel head first towards the pavement. Sidewalk injuries occur at disturbing rates throughout Kansas, frequently taking place in the winter months when ice and snow accumulate on sidewalks, but also occurring year round due to a variety of dangerous conditions.
Some of the most common causes of sidewalk falls in and around Kansas City include:
- Cracks—uneven elevations or cracks in pavement are very common and often develop gradually over time. Cracks can be attributed to tree roots, weather, the age of the sidewalk material, and soil conditions. They can also result from defective or poor materials used in construction of the sidewalk.
- Potholes—when the surface of the sidewalk separates, potholes develop. Similar to cracks, potholes can be attributed to tree roots or the accumulation of pooled water or snow.
- Snow or ice—parts of Kentucky receive generous coatings of snow or ice during the winter. These weather conditions create highly slippery surfaces and lead to a large number of falls each year.
- Debris—children’s toys or wagons, unkempt or overflowing trashcans, bikes, and any other objects that find their way to the sidewalk can lead to falls.
Different cities and towns across Kansas will have varying regulations concerning maintenance of sidewalks. For instance, in Haven, KS, property owners are responsible for adjacent sidewalks. However, to address concerns over dangerous sidewalk conditions, the city has recently cracked down on enforcement of sidewalk safety, but will reimburse property owners for sidewalk repair in the amount of the cost of the concrete to repair the deficient sections of the sidewalk. Similarly, in Lawrence, property owners must remove snow or ice within 48 hours of cessation of accumulation of the snow or ice on the sidewalk.
Sidewalks that do not adjoin residential or commercial property are usually the responsibility of the state, municipal, or federal authority that controls that sidewalk. The government entity will have the same duty to maintain the sidewalk in safe condition for pedestrians.
Individuals who slip and fall on a Kansas sidewalk may be able to recover for their injuries sustained under premises liability law. Property owners will not be liable for every fall, but they can be found liable if they caused a defect to exist in the sidewalk or knew of a defect but failed to remedy it. Further, under the theory of constructive liability, the property owner could be held liable for a defect that he or she should have known existed.
Contact Kansas City Slip and Fall Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Personal Injury attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. Individuals injured in sidewalk slip and fall accidents can seek recovery from adjacent property owners for their injuries sustained in the accident. Slip and fall victims must act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential slip and fall accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.