I tripped while on an uneven sidewalk – but I was texting at the time.

No, it doesn’t preclude you from bringing a case, but it opens you up to a defense of comparative negligence or contributory negligence on your part. If you were texting, I’m going to presume that you were looking at your handheld device, your phone or whatever it might be, and not looking where you were going. And of course, if you’re not looking where you’re going, and reasonably would have been able to see the obstruction or obstacle if you had been looking where you were going, there’s gonna be a very high degree of comparative fault on your part. Now, of course, let’s say you’re texting at night time and it’s a defective sidewalk and there’s not even that good lighting that’s provided by the city, and so the fact that you were texting doesn’t change anything. You wouldn’t have been able to see the defect regardless. The fact that you were texting is not a significant factor in your fall, and there might be no comparative negligence on your part. Or if there is, it’s not very high and it doesn’t deeply discount the value of your claim.

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