Thousands of pedestrian accidents occur through property defects each year in addition to pedestrian-vehicle accidents.  Poor property maintenance such as vegetation overgrowth, dimly or poorly lit areas, potholes in parking lots, leaving dangerous toys or tools in walkways, and cracks in the sidewalk can cause or contribute to these accidents.

Pedestrian Accidents Involving Property

In the majority of jurisdictions, property owners have a duty to care for their property and an obligation to warn people of any foreseeable hazards on it.  If you are injured because of a property owner’s negligence, you may be able to sue him for damages.

In order to recover damages, you must show: 

  • A dangerous condition existed on the property
  • The injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition
  • The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the injury
  • The property owner had notice of that condition

A dangerous condition exists when a condition of that property creates a foreseeable and substantial risk of injury.  The owner’s notice of the dangerous condition can be shown by his: 

  • Purposeful creation of the condition
  • Knowledge that the condition existed and did nothing to remedy it
  • That the owner should have known that the condition existed given the amount of time passed and/or the given circumstances

However, if the piece of property in question is owned and maintained by a city or any other public entity, the property owner will not be responsible for any injuries that occurred adjacent to his property, such as an injury on a public sidewalk.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue a Property Owner?

Recovering damages for injuries caused by a negligent property owner can be complicated and difficult.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand how the law impacts your case.  A personal injury lawyer can also file any necessary paperwork and represent you in court.