Windsor Trip and Fall Accidents on Cracked Sidewalks
If you were injured in a trip and fall accident on a cracked sidewalk, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers to learn about options for financial recovery that might be available to you. To learn more, call 1-800-JUSTICE today.
How Sidewalks Become Unsafe and Unnavigable
- Tree roots push concrete sidewalk panels up, breakthrough asphalt, or cause raised lumps. Trees should not be planted right next to sidewalks for this reason, and sidewalks that are being constructed near existing trees should give trees a wide enough berth to avoid this problem.
- When the wheels of cars, trucks, and buses hit the curb while parking or while driving, the concrete can be compromised in just a few months or years. Drivers may not realize or care about the fact that they are damaging the sidewalk every time they rub their tires on a curb while they parallel park. Even more damage is caused when cars drive up onto the curb with a wheel or two. Once the curb has been damaged, the rest of the sidewalk will begin to crack and disintegrate;
- Thermal expansion causes the concrete or asphalt to expand when heated and shrink when cooled. This constant back and forth expansion and contraction causes stress on sidewalks, eventually leading to cracks. Expansion joints in sidewalks are designed to decrease thermal expansion damage by allowing space for the concrete to expand into, but with enough time most sidewalks will succumb to this type of cracking, especially here in Windsor where the temperature changes are so great between the summer and winter.
- Frozen ground pushes sidewalks up in the winter and spring. This is another form of thermal expansion, except while the concrete contracts, the soil underneath expands due to the moisture within it. Thermal expansion often works over concrete sidewalks doubly as frozen ground pushes the sidewalk up while the concrete itself is stressed from the expansion and contraction of cold nights and warmer days.
- Settlement occurs when the soil under the sidewalk is not compacted enough. As time passes, the soil settles and leaves the sidewalk unsupported. Eventually, the concrete begins to fail and sag, cracking and deforming relatively quickly. Additionally, erosion under the concrete causes the same type of damage. Sidewalks near streams, next to sprinkler systems, or close to other sources of water are at additional risk of damage because of this.
Often, many of these elements work in conjunction to quickly eat away at sidewalks. Cracks, holes, and tilted or raised slabs can form in a short period of time, and municipalities and property owners responsible for repairing these damages are often too late. While they may blame another party or chalk it up to bad luck, chances are that the property owner or party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk you fell on is negligent, and will be found liable for your injuries.
Sometimes the fault lies with the construction of the sidewalk itself, not through wear and tear. Examples of defective sidewalks include the following:
- Slick surface that is prone to slip and falls when wet
- Irregular seams that have large lips capable of causing a trip and fall
- Variable elevation between panels, or a sloped panel that was placed instead of properly excavating and flattening the ground
- Irregular curbs
- Tall drop-offs without guardrails or warnings
- Unsafe sidewalk steps not built to code
- Improper mix of cement causing spalling and an irregularly rough surface that can catch a foot
- Ponding water or ice caused by a defective design
- Missing sections of sidewalk
Windsor Has Been Anti-Sidewalk for Decades
Historically, Windsor has not been a city that supports sidewalks. Developers in the 1950s and onwards did not give very much thought to pedestrians, and it shows. Much of the city’s residential streets lack sidewalks; in fact, nearly half of all residential streets in Windsor do not have sidewalks on either side, according to CBC News, while only 42% of arterial streets and 46% of collector streets have sidewalks. For a city that was designed for cars, not people on foot, many voters are hesitant to spend tax dollars on creating new sidewalks and fixing existing ones. As such, Windsor’s sidewalks, where they exist, are often in disrepair.
NEW SIDEWALK REGULATIONS
According to The City of Windsor, sidewalks that have “toe-stubbers” are fixed by raising the sidewalk panel or using asphalt or concrete to smooth out the crack or lip. The city requests that residents call in to report “toe-stubbers”—a term that is more placating than it is accurate—but not all of these dangerous sidewalks get repaired in time. In terms of new sidewalks, all new subdivisions must include sidewalks on one side of the street for local streets and both sides of the street for artery and collector streets. In existing areas, residents must submit a Local Improvement Petition Request in order for a new sidewalk to be constructed in an existing subdivision.
What Is My Claim Worth?
A personal injury claim’s value is based on the following:
- Out of pocket medical expenses;
- Future medical costs;
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost wages;
- Future lost earnings; and
- Other expenses incurred by the injuries, such as transportation and housekeeping.
CONTACT PRESZLER INJURY LAWYERS
If you sustained compensable injuries because of poorly maintained sidewalks, you might be entitled to compensation. To find out more, contact our Windsor trip and fall accident lawyers by calling 1-800-JUSTICE.