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Why Bad Sidewalks Can Lead to Worse Injuries

By Norman Younker on July 30, 2014


A foot in a cast following a serious accidentThe legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC know that accidents can happen anywhere and for a variety of reasons. That is why clients throughout the greater Salt Lake City area can count on our expertise. This is especially true when it comes to injuries sustained on another person's property. Our premises liability attorneys understand the nuances of property laws and what obligations property owners and property managers ought to meet.

What surprises many people is just what kinds of property issues can lead to accidents. Even minor things can cause accidents. One such problem is cracks in the pavement and upraised slabs on the sidewalk.

Why Sidewalk Problems Are a Problem for Everyone

Whether you're a jogger, a bicyclist, or just strolling along, upraised sidewalk and cracked pavement can pose a number of different problems. The likelihood of tripping and falling is increased if the upraised part of the sidewalk is especially high or damaged, or if the cracked sidewalk leaves surfaces uneven or potentially slippery due to stray dirt and rocks.

For the sake of safety, parents often have their children ride their bikes and scooters on the sidewalk. Yet cracks and upraised portions of the pavement can make the sidewalk a major hazard. If a wheel strikes an upraised slab of the sidewalk, the child on the scooter or bike may be thrown off of it.

The elderly may also be especially inconvenienced and potentially endangered if their mobility is affected and they need to use a cane or a walker to get around. This is even more problematic if they are restricted to a wheelchair or motorized scooter.

Common Causes of Sidewalk Damage

The most common causes of sidewalk damage include the following:

  • Nearby tree roots
  • Weather
  • General wear and tear
  • Lack of maintenance

By and large, tree roots are the primary cause of sidewalk cracks.

Types of Injuries That May Occur

While falling on the sidewalk may not necessarily sound like it's that bad, don't take this kind of accident lightly. Some potential injuries that may be experienced include:

  • Contusions
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes
  • Sprains
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Fractured or broken bones

The more serious injuries tend to befall the elderly or people who are caught extremely unaware by the broken sidewalk and are unable to protect themselves as they fall over.

What Can Be Done to Prevent and Address These Pavement Problems

Owners of a property should look into ways of minimizing the damage that tree trunks do to their sidewalks. This may involve cutting the roots away from the sidewalk or hiring contractors to do a professional maintenance job that involves the repair of the sidewalks.

Many of these issues can be avoided if homeowners or property owners make smart decisions about where trees are placed and how they are planted when near the sidewalk. Research should be done about the best species of tree for the space, particularly when it comes to potential root damage down the road.

Meet with Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More

For more information about your legal rights after an injury accident, it's important that you contact our personal injury attorneys today. Our team of lawyers will fight for you and your loved ones each step of the way so you can receive just compensation for the hardships you've endured.

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