Earlier this summer, a woman from Philadelphia was visiting Ocean City, Maryland with her family when she fell out of her wheelchair and fractured her arm. According to a report by DelmarvaNow, the woman is claiming that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the sidewalk and that she deserves compensation for her injuries as a result.
Evidently, the woman was visiting the boardwalk with her family around 8:00 in the evening. On their way back to their rental condo, the woman was being pushed by her daughter when the family decided to cross from east to west across Philadelphia Avenue.
As the woman’s daughter was pushing her across the street, the woman’s wheelchair suddenly stopped when it hit a raised piece of a rubber warning mat on the ramp on the other end of the intersection. The jolt caused the woman to fall out of her wheelchair and fracture her arm as a result.
The woman is claiming that the rubber mat was not flat and uniform, as is required by law, and that the condition of the sidewalk should have been discovered and remedied by town employees. She is seeking $750,000 in damages for her physical pain, mental anguish, and lost wages, as well as her loss of enjoyment in participating in normal daily and physical activities. She is pursuing her claims under the theories of negligence and strict liability, as well as under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The City of Ocean City responded that they were not the ones who placed the rubber warning mats on the sidewalk, and that the State Highway Administration was responsible for the mats. Thus, the City denies all liability.
Sidewalk and Road Maintenance
As the article notes, it may be that the State of Maryland, rather than Ocean City, is responsible for the rubber mats that caused the accident leading to the fracturing of the woman’s arm. However, either way, it is some government agency that was responsible for the mats.
Governments have an affirmative duty to keep safe streets and well-maintained sidewalks. Therefore, when an unsafe sidewalk causes an injury, the government may be held liable for its role in causing the accident. In order to do so, however, a plaintiff may need to show that the government knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed.
Have You Been Injured While on Public Roads or Sidewalks?
If you have recently slipped or tripped and fallen down on an unsafe public road or sidewalk, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help you cover your medical bills as well as any pain and suffering you have endured. The Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC is a well-regarded personal injury firm known for its experienced team of premises liability attorneys. Any of the firm’s skilled attorneys would be happy to schedule a time to speak with you about your potential case and provide you with thoughtful advice on how to proceed. Contact us online, or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Hopkins’ Gynecologist Videotaped Patient Exams, Resulting in $190 Million Class-Action Settlement, Maryland Accident Law Blog, July 23, 2014.
Woman Who Lost Husband and Two Sons When Home Depot Collapsed Sues Under Negligence Theory Maryland Accident Law Blog, August 20, 2014.