Tripping or falling in a pothole in Los Angeles is not something out of the extraordinary, as the streets of Los Angeles are not always properly and timely inspected and maintained.
While falling in a pothole may cause serious injuries and even leave you disabled, striking a pothole on your bike can be deadly.
This was the case earlier this year, when Los Angeles had to settle a lawsuit brought up by the family of a man who was killed after falling from his bike when he hit a pothole (the Los Angeles City Council awarded $4.5 million in this case).
Another prominent case involving a pothole injury claim in Los Angeles took place last month, when the council awarded $6.5 million to an injured cyclist. The cyclist was riding his bike in Sherman Oaks in 2015 when his bike struck a pothole, throwing the cyclist off the bike and causing severe injuries, including several broken bones.
Cases like these are not rare and it’s much easier to get a seven-figure settlement for pothole injuries in Los Angeles than one may think. However, there are certain procedures to follow and an incident must be of a specific nature for you to have legal grounds to sue Los Angeles for an injury caused by a pothole.
A personal injury attorney here at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg explains that in order to file an injury claim properly and sue Los Angeles for the damages and losses associated with the injury, it’s imperative to contact a local attorney in LA.
When can you sue Los Angeles for injuries caused by a pothole?
Whether or not you can sue Los Angeles for suffering an injury caused by a pothole depends on the specific location of the accident in question. If it took place on city-maintained property, you may have a case.
But that’s only half of the problem. You may be entitled to slap Los Angeles with a personal injury claim if the city:
- Created the pothole that caused the accident (i.e. the pothole was caused by the city’s construction of a building nearby, and the city failed to repair the issue)
- Was aware of the existence of the pothole that caused the accident (i.e. LA had been warned about it before the accident)
- The pothole had existed for such an unreasonably long time that Los Angeles should have learned about it and repair the uneven pavement
This may be tricky because the city could always deny the knowledge of the pothole. However, with the help of an experienced Los Angeles attorney, you may still pursue your claim and hold the city accountable for your injuries and damages.
However, you can’t expect the local authority to repair potholes as soon as they form, as the city needs a reasonable amount of time to detect the issue through inspection and repair the pothole.
For example, you may not hold Los Angeles accountable for your injuries and damages if you trip and fall in a pothole that had only just formed due to recent bad weather.
How to prove the city’s negligence in a pothole injury claim?
You may be wondering, “How do I prove the city’s negligence in a pothole injury claim?” That’s where hiring a personal injury attorney can make a huge difference if you’re filing a claim against Los Angeles, as the city is notorious for its rather strict rules and laws.
Only with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney you can obtain CCTV camera footage of the street where the pothole injury accident took place. An attorney could also help you obtain records of the last street inspection in the area. Also, getting statements from local residents (witnesses) may help you build a legal case.
Consult our Los Angeles personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg today to get a free initial consultation.