You recently fell on a New York City sidewalk. If someone else caused your fall, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. On the city sidewalks of New York, slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of injuries. Accidents involving falls can cause severe injuries and even death.
Why Do Sidewalk Accidents Occur in NYC?
New York slip-and-fall incidents on sidewalks can occur for a variety of reasons. Due to poor maintenance, a lack of appropriate repair, or faulty construction, city sidewalks frequently become cracked, broken, or uneven. When these defects are ignored, they increase the risk of injury to pedestrians. Sidewalks can develop potholes over time.
Typically, pothole-related accidents on New York City sidewalks occur in late winter or early spring. This occurs when water from snow and rain seeps through sidewalk cracks and unrepaired areas.
When the temperature drops below freezing, the water beneath the pavement expands, causing the pavement to lift. After thawing, the soil becomes weakened and a hole forms beneath the pavement. Eventually, foot traffic breaks the pavement, causing a pothole to form.
NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawsuits
If you fall due to a hazardous city sidewalk, you are not automatically entitled to compensation for your injuries.
According to New York’s personal injury law, a victim of a sidewalk accident must demonstrate that those responsible for maintaining the sidewalk either knew or should have known that a hazardous condition existed.
Injured victims must also demonstrate that the dangerous condition of the sidewalk was a “substantial factor” in causing their injuries.
Most towns and cities have their own laws governing who is responsible for maintaining sidewalks within their jurisdiction. Typically, the owner of the adjacent property or the town or city government is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk.
In New York City, for instance, the NYC Administrative Code (Section 7-210) states that the owner of a property that abuts the sidewalk is generally responsible for maintaining the safety of the sidewalk. The only exception to this rule is when the sidewalk adjoins a one-, two-, or three-family residence occupied by the property owner, in which case the city is liable.
In the majority of cases involving premises liability, you will need to demonstrate that the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition that caused your fall. Depending on whether the owner is a private company or a government agency, the filing requirements and deadline may vary.
Suppose you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on a city-maintained sidewalk in New York City. If you fell on an improperly maintained sidewalk, you may be able to file a claim against the City. However, you must also be able to demonstrate that city officials were given prior written notice of the hazardous condition.
In other words, it is the victim’s responsibility to demonstrate that city officials were aware of the dangerous condition of the sidewalk prior to the date of the accident.
If the slip-and-fall accident was caused by ice or snow on the sidewalk, the injured party must prove that the responsible party knew or should have known that ice and snow had accumulated. They must also demonstrate that the area was not cleared of ice and snow within a reasonable timeframe.
What to Do if You Suffer a Slip and Fall Accident on a NYC Sidewalk
If you have fallen on a New York City sidewalk, you must take immediate action to ensure that your claim is taken seriously and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Among these measures are the following:
- Take photographs: Be sure to photograph the condition of the sidewalk at the time of the accident, as well as any injuries you may have sustained.
- Collect information: Collect the contact information of any witnesses who may have witnessed the slip-and-fall accident.
- Obtain the contact information of the property owners whose land abuts the sidewalk, if possible.
- Always seek medical attention after slipping and falling on a New York City sidewalk.
- Even if your injuries do not appear to be severe, having a medical report will benefit your case in the long run.
- Contact a personal injury attorney in New York:
- Slip and fall cases involving sidewalks can be complex.
- A personal injury attorney in New York City can help you navigate the claims process and recover the damages you deserve.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle a Sidewalk Slip and Fall Claim
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New York City sidewalk accident, you should contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately.
Slip-and-fall accident victims on the sidewalk file a “Notice of Claim” if the City is at fault. This notice informs the city of the location, date, and circumstances of the accident, as well as the reasons why the injured party holds the city responsible. There is a strict 90-day window for filing a Notice of Claim against New York City.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.