Rencher Law Group, P.C.
Areas of Practice

Rencher Law Group, P.C.
1438 Market Street
Dolan Building - 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 877-4486

Rencher Law Group, P.C., Attorneys, San Francisco, CA

Sidewalk Injury Lawyer

Sidewalk injuries fall under the legal rubric of premises liability as a suit against the government. Although sidewalk injuries can result from a car striking the pedestrian (California Vehicle Code 21952 gives pedestrians the right of way on sidewalks), usually sidewalk injuries result from a defective and poorly maintained sidewalk.

Cities have the responsibility for maintaining sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition according to the location and intended use of the sidewalk. True that the “intended use” of a sidewalk is always for walking; however, if a sidewalk is located in a rural area, such as at the head of a mountain trail, and is infrequently used, then the city could argue that the sidewalk was meant to be used for a more careful kind of walking akin to hiking. In that case, the city would not be responsible for maintaining a perfectly smooth, level sidewalk surface.

On the other hand, if the sidewalk is a wide urban promenade adjacent to chic cafes and shops, and popular for romantic strolls where prudent pedestrians would not constantly look at their feet for hazards, the city could potentially be responsible for any jutting crack or uneven surface resulting in a trip and fall.

One limitation on sidewalk injury liability is that governments enjoy different types of “immunities” designed to prevent the inundation of lawsuits from crippling the administration of public affairs. Specifically, the city must have had actual or constructive notice of the defective condition. Actual notice is a written letter to the city complaining of the defect, while constructive notice is reports of past injuries at the same area.

Governmental immunity also makes it more difficult to prove that a prudent city should have repaired the sidewalk defect, or to prove that a reasonably prudent pedestrian would not have seen and stepped around the defect. Thus, plaintiff’s lawyers often look to show that the defect was so egregious that it was akin to a “trap,” that is, a hidden defect set out for the unwary.

RLG attorneys are experienced in all aspects of sidewalk injury law. If you have tripped on a defective sidewalk, a personal injury attorney at RLG will fight to get you the fair compensation you deserve. We serve the entire Bay Area.

For outstanding legal representation, please contact RLG for a free consultation: (415) 877-4486

Home | Attorney Profiles | News | Contact Us
Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Employment | General Litigation | Criminal | DUI Defense