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City deemed liable for uneven sidewalk

The common perception of slip-and-fall lawsuits amongst people in Hamilton may be that by one simply suing a property owner after having fallen, he or she may be immediately entitled to compensation. That is not the case. Not only does one have to be able to directly link his or her injuries to the accident, but he or she must also establish that the property owner knew of the hazard that caused his or her fall yet did nothing to either remedy it or protect him or her from it. On top of all that, one may also have to prove that his or her own actions did not contribute to the accident.

A slip-and-fall lawsuit that was recently settled in California seems, by all accounts, to illustrate this process perfectly. A woman tripped over an uneven section of concrete after leaving an optometry office. She suffered a dislocated shoulder that later required surgery. With the help of her attorney, it was discovered that the exact section of sidewalk that she tripped over had been listed as needing repair by the city. City officials attempted the shift blame to the woman, yet her lawyer detailed how her optometrist had noted her only having had a vision test immediately prior to the accident, saying she should have been able to see just fine.

There may be times when all the elements needed to substantiate one’s slip-and-fall claim slide perfectly into place, like in the case detailed above. However, there are others where one may have to put in substantial research in order to prove liability. An attorney may be a good ally to employer during such a time.

Source: Santa Monica Daily Press “Woman wins slip-and-fall lawsuit against City” Cagle, Kate. May 15, 2017

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