How many times have you walked around your Seattle neighborhood and encountered cracked, broken, or uplifted sidewalk sections? Chances are, most everyone can find such hazards within a mile or less of their home. Who is responsible to maintain sidewalks and repair damage? Typically, that responsibility falls on landowners adjacent to the sidewalk. Sometimes it also involves responsibility by the city, when something like a city owned tree caused a sidewalk to crack or uplift. Many times, it is more than one party responsible and finger pointing is the rule until a good attorney gets involved to sort out all the liability issues and damages.
A sidewalk is considered to be damaged and in need of repair by the City of Seattle in the following instances:
• The sidewalk is cracked;
• There is a fault or other discontinuity greater than 1/2 inch in the sidewalk;
• Any piece of the sidewalk can be moved with ordinary foot pressure; or
• If in the view of the Seattle Department of Transportation the grade or slope of the sidewalk creates a concern for safe pedestrian passage.
The Seattle Department of Transportation publishes a Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair guide that Seattle area homeowners may find useful in dealing with sidewalk hazards and repair:
If you know someone seriously injured after tripping or falling due to a hazardous sidewalk, have them contact one of our attorneys right away to talk about what legal options they have in pursuit of personal injury claims.