As the seasons and weather change, wet leaves become commonplace on the ground, sidewalks, and public pathways. Unfortunately, it is easy to have your feet come up from under you when walking on wet leaves.
Additionally, fallen leaves may hide uneven pavement and other hazards that can cause people to trip and fall. Some people may sustain severely broken bones and the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries due to a fall.
If you sustained injuries from fallen leaves, the Louisiana slip and fall lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can help you explore your legal options for getting compensation. We can assist you in finding out what steps you need to take to file a lawsuit against the property owner.
Insects, arboreal diseases, and a plant’s natural life cycle cause leaves to fall by the start of autumn. As the leaves accumulate and decompose, they add nutrients to the soil that feed future generations of plants and animals.
However, a buildup of leaves, particularly when wet, can be dangerous for humans. The cold temperatures and rainy weather of autumn can make the leaves slippery when they fall on paths and sidewalks. Leaves may even freeze if temperatures fall below freezing, causing slick, hazardous walking conditions.
A pile of leaves can cover the ground and prevent pedestrians and visitors from seeing potential defects on the sidewalks. For instance, leaves may hide holes, dents, and divots in the pavement. These holes can also trap and accumulate mud and water, causing a severe trip hazard.
Pedestrians may overlook tree roots on sidewalks concealed by fallen leaves. Likewise, it is possible that people walking through leaves may not see hidden obstacles like sprinkler heads in the grass.
If leaves on the ground cause a slip and fall accident, the property owner is responsible in a few circumstances.
Under Louisiana Civil Code 2322, property owners must remain aware of dangerous conditions on their property. An accumulation of leaves can build up over time, creating a dangerous condition for visitors and pedestrians. Homeowners should monitor their yard and any trees dropping leaves throughout the year.
When property owners see leaves begin to pile, they are responsible for raking them away from the walkway. They can be liable for pedestrian injuries if they are aware of the leaf pile and fail to clear it in time.
Falling on broken, uneven, or cracked sidewalks hidden by leaves can result in a lawsuit against the owner of the sidewalk. However, it depends on whether there was a hazardous sidewalk condition that resulted in the personal injury, such as inconsistent height between sidewalk slabs that causes pedestrians to trip.
If you believe the sidewalk owner was negligent in repairing the defect, you can establish the cause of your injury with an experienced attorney. They can help you gather evidence to prove the owner’s liability for your accident and damages.
Pursuing compensation from the property owner requires demonstrating that the owner failed to eliminate the wet leaves despite having time to remove them, and that caused your injury. Your attorney can help you collect the evidence to develop a strong claim against the owner for your injuries. This evidence can include the following:
- Police reports
- Cell phone and home security camera footage of the incident
- Photos showing the scene, the leaves’ location, and condition
- Testimonies from neighbors establishing how long the leaves were there and if there were previous accidents in the area
- Medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses detailing your injuries
- Income tax returns and employment records showing your loss of wages following our injuries
Your lawyer can also ask expert medical witnesses to offer their opinions about your injuries. They can speak about how the impairment from your injuries affects your life. Forensic experts can testify how dangerous conditions on pathways can limit pedestrians’ ability to see any changes, leading to falls and serious injuries.
The Baton Rouge trip and fall injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can advise you of the next legal steps to take after sustaining an injury due to a property owner’s negligence. We can determine who is liable for your injuries and calculate the damages in your settlement.
Call our law office today for a free case evaluation to determine your legal options.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
If you’re dealing with an injury caused by someone else’s negligence in Louisiana, securing legal representation is critical to obtaining compensation for your damages. Yet, […]Read More
PRESS RELEASE: Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Spread Holiday Cheer with the Launch of 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway 2023
BATON ROUGE, La., [November 30, 2023]— Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, a law firm with offices throughout Louisiana, is delighted to announce its ho, ho, holiday […]Read More
Attorney-client confidentiality is a legal principle that ensures that certain information a client shares with their attorney remains confidential. It’s not just about trust, but […]Read More
Originally published May 31, 2021. There’s nothing quite like riding down the road on your motorcycle, enjoying the breeze. Unfortunately, riding motorcycles can be dangerous, […]Read More