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If You Are Injured in the Durham Greenway, Can You Sue the City?

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Durham forest

The City of Durham is home to more than 30 miles of trails and greenways. Along the way you can see wildlife, get some exercise, and venture off the beaten path. You could also get hurt. If you suffer a serious injury using the Durham Greenways, can you sue?

While enjoyable, the Durham Greenways are public access areas with a reputation for danger. Trail users are encouraged to travel the area with companions, carry a cell phone, wear reflective clothing, and adopt a heads-up attitude for approaching trouble, among other tips. In 2016, a series of assaults occurred along the Ellerbee Creek trail, giving rise to action by local gun advocates who sought the authority to carry concealed weapons in the park.

In addition to assault or theft, poorly maintained areas within the greenways could lead to an injury. Under what circumstances could you sue the City of Durham for injuries you suffer in the greenways?

The facts and evidence that support your personal injury case are crucial. A premises liability claim against the City requires proof of special circumstances, including that the City acted negligently in allowing an injury to occur. Consider the following situations:

  • The Durham Greenway trails are notorious for their crime rate and for the assaults that frequently occur on their premises. Signage throughout the park notes the importance of following safety rules that minimize the dangers of becoming a victim of criminal activity. The trails are also marked to give users a clear understanding of their location. The greenways contain adequate warning and instruction about their potential hazards. So despite the greenways being a public space maintained by the City, users enjoy the trails at their own risk.
  • Throughout the greenways, there are also miles of paved trails that offer users easier access. Deterioration of wooden or paved walkways over time could create serious hazards for users. In the case of a slip or trip and fall, a sudden collapse, or another accident due to improperly kept walkways, a visitor to the greenways could suffer any number of injuries. Since the walkways are expected to be maintained in a reasonably safe condition, injury victims could be eligible for compensation from the City of Durham.

Depending on how your injury occurred in the greenways, you may have a viable claim against the City. If you are injured in a public space, be sure to keep photographs, witness statements and other evidence you may have collected that supports your claim, and to seek advice from a reputable Durham personal injury attorney.

When you have questions about an injury in the greenways or other public or private space in Durham, talk to the Lanier Law Group, P.A. Call toll free at (855) 757-4204 or contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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