Although the City of Atlanta holds adjacent property owners responsible for fixing the sidewalks surrounding their property, this strategy has proved futile and has led to the complete disrepair of many of Atlanta’s sidewalks. The pedestrian advocacy group PEDS has begged the City Council to make fixing Atlanta’s roughly 2,158 miles of sidewalks a priority. The City has recently paid out over $4 million to two people who filed lawsuits for injuries sustained due to the decrepit nature of the sidewalks.
The 2010 State of the City’s Transportation Infrastructure and Fleet Inventory Report shows a $204 million backlog in needed sidewalk, curb and ADA (American Disabilities Act) ramp repairs. This includes an estimated $152 million to replace and repair the roughly 25 percent of the City’s sidewalks and curbs that have fallen into disrepair. In May, a blind man received $3 million from the City after filing a lawsuit following an injury on a sidewalk. Another lawsuit was settled for $1.14 million after a woman said her heel was caught in a broken sidewalk.
PEDS has presented the City Council with a petition of over 1,000 signatures asking for it to find a source of funding for sidewalk repair instead of requiring homeowners to take care of the upkeep. Allegedly, many homeowners are unable to find contractors that are willing to do piecemeal sidewalk work. PEDS Founder and President Sally Flocks commented that “It costs 50 percent extra to repair on a piecemeal basis than doing it one mile at a time.” The City has set aside $500,000 to fix the worst sidewalks, but has not dedicated money to a more expansive plan, according to reports.
Given the complexity of Atlanta’s statutes in determining who is responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks, it is important to contact an attorney immediately after a sidewalk-related injury. After a trip and fall accident, a skilled attorney will be able to investigate the accident to determine what the cause of the injuries was and who is liable to cover the incurred damages. If you or someone you know was injured in an Atlanta sidewalk accident, receive a free consultation from an experienced Morgan & Morgan attorney by filling out our simple, no-obligation form.