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Can you tell me if the driveway apron (access way) which is…

Customer Question
Can you tell me...

Can you tell me if the driveway apron (access way) which is between the sidewalk and the street, is for pedestrian use to cross the street or is it trespassing?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

We went to court so that the Homeowner's HO Insurance would pay for the money that Medicare wanted and for my hospital bills. I fell on the broken driveway apron and broke my hip. The HO attorney told our attorney I was trespassing. Two judges told him if he used that argument he'd lose in a Philadelphia court. The 8 jurors agreed with their attorney that I was trespassing and that the HO did not have malice. The Homeowner admitted they knew for four years this was in disrepair, and and we lost the case.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a PA lawyer about this?

Yes, the lawyer was with us at the trial. He was confident it was not trespassing but the judge in Philadelphia said she was not familiar with the laws in our county, which was not Philadelphia, so she left it up to the jury to decide.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I wanted to know if we had any recourse now that the jury decided against us. I broke my hip and femur, had three titanium screws in my hip to repair it and am still not completely 100% as I was before the injury. I did suffer, had to have needles in my stomach for a month to prevent blood clots and had to go to Physical Therapy. I used a walker for 3 weeks and a cane for a few months until I could balance without it.. I still experience discomfort and pain and if I walk any distance over a mile, I begin to limp.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/10/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Seattle Scott
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,003
Experience: I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Real Estate Attorney
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The only recourse is to file an appear from the jury verdict and the notice of appeal usually has to be filed within 30 days from the final dismissal order from the trial court, which usually takes place a couple of weeks after the jury verdict is read in court. You trial attorney will know the deadlines for an appeal. You can also ask for a judgment not withstanding the verdict - ask the judge to determine as a matter of law that the jury got it wrong. It is very rare for a trial judge to not follow the verdict.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I should add that you don't owe Medicare any repayment because there was no money recovered from the HOA.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I will follow up with you tomorrow

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Can you answer my question as to if it is okay to walk on a driveway apron to cross the street? This was at a corner & there were no cutouts, . Only the apron or the grass buffer would have to be used to get from the sidewalk to thd Street to cross to the other side.
Real Estate Lawyer: Seattle Scott, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

My assumption is that normally the land from the side walk to the street curb is public property, but you fell on a driveway apron that was in a neighborhood that had an HOA. It may be that each home owner ownes the land where the driveway crosses the sidewalk, so it is private property from the street curb across the sidewalk and the HOA has an easement where the sidewall cuts across the private driveway. If that is the case, you had permission to use the sidewalk but not the apron. It really depends on the specific recorded title docs when the HOA was first established. Conversely, the driveway apron in front of my house is public property, so pedestrians are not trespassing when they walk on it to cross the street.

The other issue is whether a public easement was created as the result of the homeowner not objecting to people using the apron as the route to cross the street, but your trial lawyer would have raised this issue at trial if the facts supported it.

So I can't answer the question of whether it was error for the judge to instruct the jury that they could find that you were trespassing since it is dependent on the legal description of the parcel that owned the apron, rather than some statutory law.

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