Who Is Liable For Accidents On Sidewalks?

Sidewalks are a public space. Accordingly, they are subject to the same laws as public thoroughfares such as streets and highways. For this reason, sidewalks can be maintained by local governments or private property owners—and each has its own responsibilities when it comes to keeping pedestrians safe on the street. In addition to ensuring that sidewalks are kept in good repair, local authorities must also ensure that no one is trespassing bylaws about sidewalk use or maintenance apply at all locations where people gather.

Public Versus Private Sidewalks

Private sidewalks are those that are not owned by the government. They can be owned by anyone, including homeowners and businesses.

Public sidewalks are a different story; they’re usually owned by municipalities or other public entities such as cities or counties. A public sidewalk might also be called a “common area” if it’s shared among multiple people (like a street).

Local Laws on Sidewalk Maintenance

In some states, local governments are required to maintain sidewalks in their jurisdiction. This is usually done through an ordinance or law that requires property owners who own sidewalks on public property such as roads and highways to maintain them appropriately.

Government vs. Private Owner Liability for Sidewalk Injuries

There are two kinds of sidewalk owners: government and private. Government entities, such as cities and states, maintain the roads and sidewalks in their jurisdiction. Private land owners are responsible for maintaining their own private property so that pedestrians can walk safely on sidewalks there.

In general, the owner of a public sidewalk is liable for injuries sustained by users of that sidewalk; however, some exceptions apply if you were trespassing or otherwise not supposed to be there at all (e.g., a construction zone). If your injury happened on someone else’s private property then they’ll likely have full legal responsibility for any damages caused by your trip onto their land—even if it was unintentional!

Defenses in Sidewalk Injury Cases

For most people, the first thing they think of in terms of sidewalks is liability. Who owns the sidewalk? Is it city or state property? And if you’re injured on one, who’s liable for your injuries?

The answer to these questions depends on where you live and what laws apply in your state. Sidewalks are considered public property and any injuries sustained while using them would be covered under general tort law—meaning that each injured person could sue whoever caused him or her harm.

You’ll also want to consider whether your local government body has any responsibilities when it comes time for repairing damage done by pedestrians walking along public walkways; some cities have even gone so far as installing barriers made from steel wires which prevent anyone from straying too far off course without first getting permission from those who own said territory (like homeowners living nearby).


The bottom line is that you should always be aware of your surroundings and be careful on the sidewalk. The last thing you want is an accident that could have been avoided had someone else been more attentive. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a negligent driver, contact a personal injury lawyer in Newmarket for a consultation.

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