In New York, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident because of someone else’s negligence (carelessness) or wrongdoing, you may be able to receive monetary compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. However, sidewalk accidents that result in serious injuries can be extremely complex when it comes to filing a claim. The question of who is liable for a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident in New York City depends on where the accident occurs and what caused the fall.
Why Sidewalk Accidents Occur
New York City has more than 12,750 miles of sidewalks. The city also has significant pedestrian traffic in all of its boroughs. Our personal injury lawyers have found some of the most common causes of sidewalk accidents to be the following:
Snow and ice: When snow and ice collect on the sidewalk during the winter months, they must be promptly cleared. Otherwise, accumulated snow and ice, especially in freezing temperatures, may pose a serious slip-and-fall hazard to pedestrians.
Bad construction: When a sidewalk is poorly constructed, it is more likely that it will develop cracks that may trip a pedestrian. Some sidewalks also have uneven surfaces, which may pose a trip-and-fall hazard. Standards for sidewalk construction are set forth by the New York Department of Transportation.
Inadequate maintenance: Sidewalks need to be maintained on a routine basis. When the city or property owners fail to maintain sidewalks properly by making necessary repairs or removing debris, pedestrians are in danger of suffering injuries. In New York City, it is a fairly common site to see property owners or tenants leave debris such as trash or construction debris on sidewalks. These may pose a serious trip-and-fall hazard.
Construction accidents: We have also seen a number of cases where pedestrians on sidewalks have been hit by objects or equipment dropped from higher elevations at construction sites. Such accidents may result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Who is Liable in New York City?
Each year, thousands of New Yorkers and visitors to the city are injured as a result of sidewalk slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. In 2003, the city moved much of the responsibility for sidewalk liability to property owners. The best way for property owners to avoid this type of liability is by making sure they maintain sidewalks and make the needed repairs before they pose a danger. However, the city is still responsible for some sidewalks.
Under Section 7-210 of New York City’s Administrative Code, property owners are potentially liable for personal injuries caused by their failure to reasonably maintain sidewalks abutting their properties. Sidewalks with defects and failure to remove snow, ice or debris in a timely manner may result in serious injuries, which may be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.
Property owners/managers and the city have a responsibility to keep adjacent sidewalks and pedestrian ramps in good condition, free of hazards. Property owners are required to install, construct, repave, reconstruct or repair sidewalks and some pedestrian ramps to city specifications. Property owners/managers, through lease agreements, may try to shift liability to tenants, merchants or even building maintenance companies. In some cases, depending on the facts and circumstances, more than one party may be held liable for injuries caused by sidewalk slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents have the potential to result in life-changing injuries and long-term medical expenses that may not be covered by health insurance policies. If you were injured in a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall 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/or 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.
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