Tree Roots Damaged Sidewalk Causing Fall...

by S
(Hackensack, NJ)

I'm the owner of a commercial property New Jersey. A pedestrian tripped and fell on the sidewalk by the building. The city's tree was overgrown and the roots damaged the sidewalk, pushing up the concrete and making it uneven. I complained about the sidewalk a while ago but city maintenance didn't fix it.

Am I liable for the pedestrian's injuries or is the city? I'd appreciate any information you can give about liability in this situation. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Tree Roots Damaged Sidewalk Causing Fall...":

S (Hackensack, NJ):

The best way to find out if you're liable for the pedestrian's injuries is to look at a survey of your property. If you don't have one you will be able to gain access to the original survey at your county's records department.

If the sidewalk is included in the survey as part of your property you may be liable for the pedestrian's injuries. If the sidewalk is not on the survey then the sidewalk is probably owned by the City of Hackensack.

If the sidewalk is part of your property the pedestrian's injuries should be covered by your commercial property insurance policy.

The next consideration will be the extent of the injuries suffered by the pedestrian. Hopefully the injuries weren't serious.

Finally, if the sidewalk is on your property and the pedestrian contributed to her injuries you may escape liability. In other words, if the pedestrian was running, instead of walking, or was intoxicated, etc.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Sidewalk Injury Questions.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION