Who Is Liable If Your Sidewalk Is Damaged?

Damaged Sidewalk Liability in San Diego, CA

If the sidewalk in front of your house is raised and cracked, you probably wonder who is responsible for the repair. The answer depends on a variety of factors, and the home insurance experts at Tri-Star Insurance San Diego are here to discuss a few of these details.

Where Is the Damage Located?

In most states, homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of land and sidewalks near or around their property. However, there are few exceptions. In California, some cities take on this task. The best way to get a firm answer is to call your local Public Works.

How Big Is the Crack?

You need to determine if the sidewalk damage is big (for instance, one foot long) or small (perhaps 1/4 inch). Certain municipalities require no action for insignificant sidewalk damage. However, if the crack lengthens or raises or a hole develops, you may need to take action.

What Caused the Damage?

A variety of causes can lead to a sidewalk crack, including an earthquake, city work, or a heavy item dropped on the ground. The answer to this question can shift the culpability. The city, a contractor, or a homeowner might be liable. If there’s a dispute, the involved parties might request an investigation.

Who Pays If Someone Trips and Falls?

If a person falls and injures him or herself on a damaged sidewalk, the liable entity must pay. However, proving fault can be tricky. If the injured person was wearing slippery, ill-fitting shoes, he or she may be liable for the injuries. If the city failed to repair reported sidewalk damage in a timely manner, the city may be responsible. If the homeowner failed to repair reported damage in a timely manner, he or she may be liable.

San Diego homeowners insurance normally doesn’t cover sidewalk damage. It’s considered an exclusion. Umbrella insurance, an extension of liability coverage under auto andhomeowners policies, may cover this issue, but it depends on the scenario.

To learn more about what is and isn’t typically covered under a home insurance policy, reach out to American Tri-Star. Homeowners insurance isn’t our only area of expertise. If you need health, commercial, motorcycle, RV, or auto insurance quotes, San Diego insurance agents are here to help. Give us a call at 619-272-2100 today.