Question: Who is responsible for fixing dangerous sidewalks?
Answer: The duty to maintain sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition falls solely with the governmental entity where the sidewalk is located and the homeowners abutting sidewalk do not have a duty to repair sidewalks. The governmental entity that controls the sidewalk in question must use “due care” in the maintenance of its sidewalks which means that the government is required act as an ordinary prudent person would act under similar circumstances. However, there are exceptions to this duty that may allow the governmental entity to escape liability, especially if they have a sidewalk program in place that they are actually following. Further, an injured plaintiff must comply with Indiana’s tort notice requirements in order to protect the claim you have against the government. Failure to correctly file a tort claim notice within the statutory time period will result in the claim being lost. Note, this notice period is different than a statute of limitations time period which relates to when your claim must be filed with the courts or be resolved. It is always important to consult a lawyer on there claims, since there are important notice periods that must be compiled with and governments normally do not pay on these claims without a lawsuit being filed.