Visitor Question

Fractured knee after tripping on a raised city sidewalk…

Submitted By: Julio (Moorpark, CA)

Last month, my sister was walking on a city-owned sidewalk in Simi Valley, California. She tripped over a raised part of the sidewalk that was around 2 inches high. We have pictures that prove it.

Her injuries resulted in a broken elbow and fractured knee. She had to have reconstructive surgery on her elbow and there’s no guarantee she will be able to return to work because of the injury.

We filed a report with the city and the very next day, the city fixed the raised sidewalk by grinding it down to be leveled.

Does she have a case? What are we looking at here legally? Thanks.

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 Julio,

Under California’s Tort Claims Act, municipalities, including the City of Simi Valley, are immune from tort injury claims from the public. This means the City of Simi Valley may unilaterally deny your sister’s injury claim.

However, in most cases, when persons are injured by government employees or as a result of defective city property, the municipality may agree to pay a claim for money damages. Simi Valley is one of those government entities.

The Tort Claims Act mandates that all claims for damages against a public entity must be presented in writing prior to filing suit. The procedure gives California cities, including Simi Valley the opportunity to investigate injury claims and to negotiate with those potential plaintiffs who have meritorious claims.

You can file a Notice of Claim against the City of Simi Valley. To do so, contact the Simi Valley City Attorney’s office. Explain you were injured on a city sidewalk and want to file a Notice of Claim. You may contact the Simi Valley City Attorney’s Office at:

City Attorney: Lonnie Eldridge
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, CA 93063
(805) 583-6714

For more information about California’s Tort Claim process, read this:
Filing Claims against the Government under the California Tort Claims Act

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: October 19, 2017

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