The New York City Department of Buildings is investigating an incident where a man fell into a hole after the sidewalk on which he was standing suddenly gave way. According to a CBS New York news report, FDNY officials said the fall occurred in front of 4521 Third Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Witnesses say the 33-year-old victim fell into a 12-15-foot hole after a portion of the sidewalk collapsed under him.
Injuries and Ongoing Investigation
One witness told CBS2 that he was waiting for his bus and standing next to the victim. When he turned around for a second and looked back, the man had fallen into the hole. The victim was unable to talk and barely moving. Bystanders called 911. Firefighters worked for about 30 minutes on the rescue and eventually went into a side entrance of the building to access the cellar and free the victim. He was transported to a local hospital. The victim may have suffered injuries to his head and arm, witnesses said.
Department of Buildings officials said their preliminary findings show the collapse was caused by a section of sidewalk over a building’s cellar that was in a state of disrepair. As a result, the department’s inspectors issued a full vacate order for the five-story building. Those who work in that building told CBS2 that several sidewalks in the area are in a similar state and that they are worried for their safety. One deli worker nearby said the area has a lot of pedestrian traffic including children and people who use wheelchairs.
The investigation is ongoing. In the meantime, the hole in the sidewalk has been covered and the Department of Buildings has ordered the building owner to install a construction fence in front of the property to protect the public.
Liability in Sidewalk Accidents
According to Section 7-210 of New York City’s Administrative Code, property owners and/or property managers may potentially be held liable for personal injuries that are caused by their failure to maintain reasonably safe sidewalks. In New York City, property owners and/or the city must keep adjacent sidewalks and pedestrian ramps in good condition, free of defects and slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall hazards.
Property owners and/or property managers are required to install, construct, repave, reconstruct or repair sidewalks to New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications. It is important to remember that property owners through lease agreements may try to shift this liability to tenants, merchants, property managers or building maintenance companies. Sidewalk collapse incidents have the potential to result in major injuries such as head trauma, spinal cord damage, bone fractures, internal organ damage, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you were involved in a sidewalk slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall accident or in a sidewalk collapse accident as a result of someone else’s negligence (carelessness), please remember that you have rights. Some of the damages that victims of such accidents can claim include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, loss of wages and benefits, cost of hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, past and future pain and suffering, permanent injury, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For over 49 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims.
Our law firm recovered $1,700,000 for a woman who slipped and fell and received no hospital or medical treatment for one month after the accident. Our law firm also recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com