Could I sue for tripping over a sidewalk and hurting myself?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Could I sue for tripping over a sidewalk and hurting myself?

The sidewalk has a 3 inch gap going up. I took pictures of the sidewalk and my knees. My wrist was scraped and my bandages are healing but my right knee hurts when anything touches it or I even move it.

Asked on July 22, 2010 under Personal Injury, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) To sue, you'd need to prove that the sidewalk owner (the city?) had knowledge, or at least should have known, of the problem. If not, they are probably not liable.

2) Also, it's not clear that a 3" gap would necessarily give rise to liability. Sidewalks are rarely fully smooth or even. At some point, a gap is large enough that, if there is knowledge, there is probably responsibilty. There are also gaps so small there's no liabilty, because it's not unreasonable to have that gap. 3" probably falls into that grey area, so while their could be liabilty, it should not be taken as a given.

3) If you don't have much medical costs and haven't missed work, then there's probably not enough to make it worth suring for. While people can also sue for  pain and suffering, if you are not permantly disabled but are suffering pain for simply a few weeks, then that's likely worth only a few hundred dollars at best,  which is not likely worth the cost or effort of pursuing  a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption