Sidewalks are assumed to be public property by most people. Is this assumption correct, though, and when would it matter?
If you are walking along the sidewalk, trip on a piece of damaged concrete or cement, and get hurt, then ownership of the sidewalk becomes important. You will need to file a premises liability claim against whoever had the responsibility of maintaining that sidewalk. Which raises the question: “Who is accountable for sidewalk maintenance?”
From our office in Phoenix, Rafi Law Group provides legal representation to personal injury claimants throughout Arizona, which is why we will be focusing on how Arizona interprets sidewalk accident liability.
Where You Live in Arizona Matters
Sidewalks near or parallel to city streets are usually considered the property of the city. As such, slip and fall accident claims will usually name the city or local municipality as the defendant.
However, this is not guaranteed to be the case where you live. More and more cities throughout Arizona are making homeowners responsible for sidewalk repairs and maintenance. For example, both Phoenix and Tucson have ordinances that shift liability onto homeowners, effectively letting the city to shirk this responsibility in most cases.
A claim filed against a homeowner after a pedestrian trips on the sidewalk in front of their house will likely trigger the defendant’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Most of these types of policies include a “property and casualty clause” that provides coverage for accidents caused by the homeowner’s neglect.
Who Should You File Your Claim Against?
Knowing who should be the defendant in your claim after you get hurt while walking along the sidewalk is difficult. It could take an extensive back-and-forth between yourself and various parties, like county clerks or property management companies. With a brief two-year statute of limitations on Arizona personal injury claims, the time remaining to actually file your claim could disappear sooner than you think.
To get your claim in good order sooner than later, choose Rafi Law Group to assist with your claim at the beginning. Using our extensive legal experience and familiarity with the greater Phoenix area, we can quickly determine who is liable for your damages.
Call us at (623) 207-1555 if you need our help or to get more information about our services.