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Fall into hole in sidewalk results in $160,000 payment

Most people look straight ahead or at the surrounding scenery during a walk on paved sidewalks. They do not watch their feet because sidewalks are expected to be mostly smooth and uniform, or at least unchanged from day to day. Accordingly, when a construction crew digs up a sidewalk and fails to alert the general public, unsuspecting pedestrians can be the victim of a slip-and-fall accident resulting in painful injuries.

A 60-year old woman can personally relate to the serious nature of a fall into an unmarked hole in the sidewalk. After her tumble, the woman could not leave her residence for close to thirty days during which time damage to her foot, ankle, and back had to heal. The woman filed a lawsuit against a telephone company and a utility company claiming that they should have closed off or marked the unforeseen pit in the sidewalk following construction work. 

Before the case could proceed to court, the parties were able to enter into a settlement agreement. The woman received $160,000, a huge increase above the initial $15,000 offered in early negotiations. This money likely serves as compensation for her medical bills, together with her pain and suffering. Anyone who has suffered harm due to a dangerous property condition, whether outside, or in a grocery store, shopping mall, retail store, restaurant, or other public place, should realize that legal remedies may be available to them. It is always a good idea to consult with experienced legal counsel to determine whether a negligent property owner or contractor may be liable for an injured person’s damages. 

Source: Staten Island Advance, “Staten Island woman accepts $160K in injury suit,” Frank Donnelly, April 29, 2013