If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Often, evidence needs to be collected and preserved immediately following the accident. This will give you the best possible chance of success if you ultimately decide to bring a law suit to recover your damages.
While injury victims generally have two years from the date of the accident to commence a law suit, there are a few other important considerations when dealing with a pedestrian accident case. If the injuries were due to a maintenance issue on a sidewalk or roadway, there are strict requirements to give notice to the road authority (usually the local municipal government) responsible for the area in question. Whether it is a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk, or a trip resulting from a pot hole in a cross walk, it is crucial to give proper notice to the road authority within 10 days from the date of the accident. If the injury was caused by snow or ice on private property, the injury victim must give notice to the property owner/occupier, or the contractor who was responsible to remove the snow and ice, within 60 days from the date of the accident.
The notice should include the injured person’s name, the exact location of the fall/trip/slip, the date and time when the accident occurred, and the nature of the injuries sustained. The purpose of this notice is to permit the responsible party to investigate the condition of the area in question before the conditions change. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible after any pedestrian accident can help to ensure that these important notice period requirements are followed correctly.
Fortunately, if you do not comply with the notice periods, there is still a chance that you will be able to pursue a law suit. As long as you have a “reasonable excuse” for not providing the notice, a judge may permit your claim to continue. Therefore, even if you have missed the notice period, you should still speak with a personal injury lawyer right away, as they may be able to help you pursue a claim for your injuries and damages.