Have you ever stumbled, tripped or fallen on the sidewalks on one of those dangerous spots scattered across our city? Do you know that if you fall and hurt yourself that the insurance company for the city probably will not honour your claim for the costs to you that result from your injuries?
I am 93 years old, and I fell heavily on my face on Jan. 2. I tripped on an inch-high raised ledge of the sidewalk. I sustained various injuries which included chipping a front tooth and breaking two other teeth.
A resident who lives at that location told me that that ledge has been there for years and other people have fallen on it. Only a few months previously another lady fell there and her injuries were even worse than mine.
Because no one had informed city hall about that dangerous place, the city’s insurance company maintains that “ the loss was not caused by any act or omission on the part of the city” so is not at fault for my injuries. It notified me it will not cover the thousands of dollars that it has cost me for all the dental work and other treatments that I have needed.
My question is who is responsible for keeping our sidewalks safe? Is it city hall or the pedestrians?
Obviously the insurance company thinks it is the pedestrians. It does seem to me that the city operations centre could do a better job of inspecting the sidewalks and repairing these places, especially where mature trees are growing nearby.
However, when I had my fall, I did tell Councillor Ahmed Yousef about the place where I fell and of another one like it in my neighbourhood. The city had them repaired within days. No one will trip on them again.
Meanwhile, it appears that we need to look out for each other by reporting to the proper authorities at city hall when we see a dangerous spot. Hopefully they will do something about it.
You might save some one else from going through pain and grief. You could make a difference and turn my accident into something positive for everyone, including helping city hall make our community safer.
Call 604-463-522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a report.
Alice Chambers, Maple Ridge
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