Los Angeles City sidewalks require extensive servicing and pose a hazard to Angeleno pedestrians and cyclists. This includes those who navigate L.A. streets by way of walkers, wheelchairs, or other similar means.
Uneven sidewalks increase the risk of tripping, stumbling, and even spraining ankles. However, the most cause for concern is traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from accidental falls. Experts say that falls are to blame for nearly half of TBI-related hospitalizations in the U.S.
If you find yourself injured as a result of uneven sidewalks, Haffner Law’s traumatic brain injury attorneys in L.A. are here to assist you. We help victims secure fair compensation for slip and fall accidents that result in TBI or other injuries.
How Bad Is the Damage to L.A.’s Sidewalks?
A 2010 report by Access magazine reveals that 4,600 out of the city’s 10,750 miles of sidewalks need some degree of repair. Unfortunately, according to a 2015 report by the Los Angeles Times, 40% of sidewalk disrepair complaints had yet to be addressed. Likewise, sidewalks that needed servicing had increased to nearly 5,000 miles.
Fast forward to 2021, L.A. has received over 1,700 claims and 1,200 lawsuits for sidewalk injuries over the past five years. A whopping $35 million worth of settlements have also been paid out to victims.
Much of the disrepair is caused by street trees which resulted from an underfunded urban forest management program. Los Angeles is the largest urban forest in the country, housing over 10 million trees.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the location and extent.
Mild TBIs are often accompanied by loss of consciousness that typically lasts for a few seconds to several minutes. However, it’s crucial to note that not everyone loses consciousness from a mild TBI.
Along with memory loss, victims can also experience nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion, and other physical symptoms.
This type of TBI often results from a blow or violent shaking of the head. Most victims lose consciousness for a few minutes to several hours. Other symptoms include confusion, memory loss, and other behavioral, physical, and cognitive side effects.
Some moderate TBI victims recover after a few days or weeks, while others carry the symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Severe TBIs are the most serious types of brain injury. They are often caused by an overwhelming blow to the head or a foreign object penetrating the skull. Victims lose consciousness for more than 24 hours. Some even fall into a coma for days, weeks, or months.
Unfortunately, many severe TBI cases result in death. Those who survive experience permanent physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms.
Who Is Liable for Your Injury?
About 40 years ago, an ordinance took effect in Los Angeles, transferring the responsibility for repairing sidewalks damaged by tree roots from adjacent landowners to the City. To pursue a case, the victim must be able to prove that:
- The sidewalk in question is unreasonably dangerous.
- The City is aware or should have been aware of the sidewalk’s condition.
While the responsibility falls on the City, liability could be transferred to a property owner. For instance, the adjacent property owner can be held liable if the roots of a tree they planted resulted in a sidewalk injury.
Hire a Reputable Brain Injury Lawyer in L.A.
While Los Angeles has created programs to manage the repair of sidewalks, it would still take years to resolve the issue completely. This means that L.A. sidewalks continue to pose a serious threat to Angelenos.
If you or someone you know suffered a brain injury due to a sidewalk trip or fall, reach out to the highly experienced attorneys at Haffner Law. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve for your suffering and financial loss.
Get aggressive legal representation for your brain injury case. Call us today at 213-514-5681 to book a free consultation.