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Who is Responsible for a Slip, Trip, or Fall on a San Marcos Sidewalk?

By Ross Jurewitz on May 30, 2016

Sidewalks are found in most urban areas and in most residential and commercial suburban areas in the US. The generic definition of a sidewalk is any area stretching from the property line to the outside of the curb. The most commonly used material in sideway construction is concrete, which traditionally has delivered a combination of low cost and high durability. Sidewalks are subject to physical compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Causes for Sidewalk Damage

There are several common causes for pre-mature sidewalk damage:

• Tensile stresses in the surface below acts as a catalyst for sidewalk cracking
• Water gathering between or below concrete slabs will freeze and thus expand in rainy weather.
• Seismic activity (earthquakes) can certainly cause significant damage. (increasing a possibility in California)
• Trees cause damage in two ways: In extremely dry weather, tree roots deplete the moisture from the surface beneath the sidewalk, causing tensile-shrinkage. Also, the root systems of some large trees beneath the surface have tremendous strength and expand leading to damage
• Over-exposure to de-icing chemicals and rock salt

Liability for San Marcos Sidewalk Slip, Trip, and Falls

In San Marcos, as with most municipalities in California, the property owner is held responsible for the maintenance and repairs for their own section of sidewalk. In the event of an accident, such as a slip and fall, the city will be liable in most instances for managing any civil suits that arise. In sidewalk accidents involving bicycles the liability gets more complex, as San Marcos is one of the cities with strong regulations relating to bicycling on sidewalks. San Marcos doesn’t completely forbid bicycling on sidewalks in all cases, but does restrict it in many areas. In efforts to improve the safety of its sidewalks, San Marcos entered a contract with the Tri-Group Company for sidewalk improvement, which they funded with gas tax revenues that is known as “The Special Gas Tax Street Improvement Fund.” San Diego has a Streets Maintenance division within their Public Works Department that regularly addresses sidewalk maintenance as well.

California Sidewalk Legislation

The majority of sidewalk accident liability in California rests with the local municipality. There are frequently suits filed against municipalities in California, who have put in place laws making it difficult to prove their negligence in these cases. First, a very specific set of circumstances would have to be in place for a “slip and fall” victim to have success in proving negligence.

Have you been involved in broken sidewalk injury in San Marcos? Call (888) 743-3050 for a no-cost case evaluation. If we represent you in the case, there is no charge until a settlement or judgment has been awarded. That’s our No Fee Guarantee! We have an exceptional team at the Jurewitz Law Group that is experienced in cases involving premises liability. Allow us to fight on your behalf to secure you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.

Ross Jurewitz

Ross Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.

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