Northwest NEWS

February 22, 1999

Editorial

Let city know about dangerous sidewalks

   Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. How true. An unfortunate fall on a downtown Woodinville city sidewalk some weeks back proved the point.

   I had failed to follow a mental "prompt" the week before. For years, that particular spot had claimed its victims--torn clothing, scratched glasses, scrapes, sore muscles. But no one had yet alerted the city it was there. That is, not until I did--a week too late to successfully claim damages.

   Yes, the city is responsible for their sidewalks; no, they are not responsible for any damage done, unless by some lucky chance, the victim or other person first alerted them that there was a trouble spot.

   Yes, I have insurance. No, it did not pay for new glasses. No, it did not pay all the medical bills. Was I badly hurt? Yes. My nose was fractured, bone splinters drifted, and stitching was done. From the hairline on down, I was scraped and flesh was torn. But that is not the point. I healed. But there is a lesson to be learned here.

   Do not wait for the city to put an ad in the paper nor hand out a banner announcing they will pay damages, personal or otherwise, that occured from contact with a faulty city sidewalk, but only if they already knew about it. Just be sure that your spot is dutifully recorded and don't all stampede in at once. This is going to take some time.

Maude Eastwood, Woodinville