Visitor Question

How Can I File a Complaint to Get the Sidewalk Fixed?

Submitted By: Rhonda (Fresno, CA)

I was walking on sidewalk and tripped and fell. This sidewalk has a large lifted area straight across that needs to be fixed. I volunteer at the school across the street and it’s only a matter of time before a kid or someone else gets hurt.

I am lucky I did not lose my front teeth or get a broken nose, however I may have one tooth that needs to be checked. It has a fracture and I am not sure if it’s healthy. I did take pictures of my face, being the holiday season I sent pictures to my mom, sister, and boyfriend, so they knew what happened and why I didn’t want to socialize.

How can I file a complaint to get this sidewalk fixed?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Rhonda,

You will first have to determine if the sidewalk is part of a private person or company’s property, or if it is owned and maintained by the City of Fresno.

If the sidewalk is on the property of a private person you should be able to receive some compensation for your injury. With homeowners insurance you wouldn’t have to prove the homeowner was negligent. The mere having an accident with injuries on the homeowner’s property will be sufficient to file a claim.

If the sidewalk is on private property you may have a difficult time trying to get the name of the homeowner’s insurance company.

If the homeowner won’t cooperate you might have to consider legal action.

In the alternative, if the sidewalk is owned by the city of Fresno or the State of California, you will have to file what is referred to as a “Tort Claim” against the city or state (depending upon which entity is responsible for the ownership and maintenance of the sidewalk).

To file a Tort Claim contact the City of Fresno first. Tell then you were injured and want to file a claim. Tell them you want them to mail to you a “Report of Injury Claim Form”. That is the beginning or filing a Tort Claim with the city.

If they tell you the sidealk is under the state’s jurisdiction then ask them for their phone number. Once you file your claim you will thereafter be contacted by one of the city or state’s employees, possibly from their insurance company as well.

Tell them the truth and explain how you have dental bills which need to be paid. Be sure to find out from your dentist if you will be needing any future special care because of the possibility of future dental problems.

With that information you will be on your way to pursuing a successful injury claim against the city of Fresno. Filing a claim in itself should be enough to get the sidewalk fixed.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 2, 2012

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