Twisted Ankle in Hole in Sidewalk...

by Sandra
(Philadelphia, PA)

I was getting out my car carrying my friend's baby. I was stepping onto the sidewalk and there was a hole where a tree use to be. I didn't see the hole and fell. I twisted my ankle, landed on my knee cutting it open, then landed on my elbow. The baby was okay thank god, but now I can't walk right because of the pain and I can't bend my knee.

My question is: Is the owner of the house responsible for fixing the hole that's in the sidewalk in front of his house?

The owner did help me up and ask me if I was okay, but I am in pain and can't walk. I think I should go to the doctor to see if I've really hurt myself, but I'm not sure who will pay for it. Thanks for any info you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Twisted Ankle in Hole in Sidewalk...":

Sandra (Philadelphia, PA):

You should seek medical care immediately. Waiting to see if you have a legal claim is inappropriate. If you are truly injured you must seek medical attention now. Not only is it the right thing to do, but without seeking medical attention no one will take your claim seriously anyway.

Once you receive a doctors' diagnosis and prognosis you will know if you are going to need future medical care, or if this is just what is referred to as a "soft tissue" injury. A soft tissue injury is one which doesn't include the breakage of bones, herniation of disks, organ damage or other various serious injuries. Instead, soft tissue injuries tend to be torn ligaments, strained tendons and muscles, contusions, abrasions and lacerations.

If you are the latter then you really don't have much, if any of a legal claim. In other words, if your injury heals after a few days, and the doctor didn't forecast any future problems, then that is where the claim may end.

In the alternative, if the doctor thinks the injury is serious she may order some tests. She may refer yo to an orthopedic surgeon. There you may be administered an MRI, or "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" examination. That is like an x-ray, but much more reliable and detailed in the investigation and location of serious injuries.

If your injuries are more serious than sprains, etc. then the homeowners insurance may cover your medical bills, out of pocket expenses such a prescription and over the counter medications, any lost wages while treating and recovering, and an additional amount for pain and suffering.

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

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