Most of us have been on a leisurely walk in our neighborhoods and communities and have seen a section of a sidewalk that is either cracked, been uprooted or otherwise damaged and in a state of disrepair. Have you ever wondered who is responsible for repairing that sidewalk or who would be liable if someone were to fall and be injured because of the condition of the sidewalk? Like many legal questions, it depends.
In West Virginia, many cities and local governments have enacted ordinances that require an abutting property owner to maintain and repair sidewalks along their property. For example, the City of Wheeling has such an ordinance that requires the abutting property owner or agent to construct and repair sidewalks, curbs and driveways adjoining their property. (Article 903.02 of the City of Wheeling’s Codified Ordinances, if you are interested). In some cities and towns in West Virginia, the city or local government is responsible for upkeep and repair of the sidewalks.
If you are injured because of a damaged or improperly maintained sidewalk, identifying who had legal responsibility for maintaining and repairing the sidewalk is critical. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine who may be liable for the injuries you have sustained and the identities of those individuals or entities responsible.