New York City Sidewalk Accident Attorney
A sidewalk accident typically occurs when a person trips and falls or slips and falls on a defective walkway or sidewalk. The danger of a sidewalk accident is significantly higher in New York City where there is a greater level of pedestrian traffic. There are several risks New Yorkers face when they use the city’s sidewalks. Cracks or other damage on sidewalks could cause a pedestrian to trip and fall or slip and fall. When snow and ice are not cleared in a timely manner, there is the risk of a serious slip-and-fall injury. It would be in the best interests of sidewalk accident victims and their families to obtain more information regarding their legal rights and options.
Property Owner Liability
Under New York Administrative Code Section 19-152, property owners are legally obligated to install, repair and maintain the sidewalks adjourning their premises. This law, which went into effect on Sept. 15, 2003, shifted liability for sidewalk accidents from the city of New York onto property owners with a modification of the Administrative Code. Property owners, with the exception of one-, two-, or three-family homes where the owner lives in the home, can be held liable for neglecting to “install, reconstruct, repave, or replace defective sidewalk flags” and for the failure to remove snow, ice and other dangerous debris from the sidewalk.
The city assists property owners by inspecting sidewalks and sending out notifications when areas are particularly dangerous. When property owners do not respond accordingly, the government may hire a private contractor to fix the damage and bill the property owner. In Brooklyn and Queens, there is an Expedited Repair Program that allows owners to pay the city to make repairs quickly. In addition, property owners are required to have insurance coverage for premises liability claims.
Types of Sidewalk Defects
There are many types of defective sidewalks that can prove dangerous for New York pedestrians. Tripping accidents commonly result from:
- Tree roots: When sidewalks go too long without repair, tree roots may cause them to become uneven.
- Collapsed sidewalks: Severely damaged sidewalks may have large parts caved in or separated from the rest of the walkway. This type of a situation certainly poses a serious fall hazard.
- Trip hazards: It is easy to trip and fall on large cracks that cut across poorly maintained sidewalks.
- Hardware tripping hazards: There are some instances where sidewalks are poorly repaired. When metal hardware protrudes from the sidewalk, it can present a tripping hazard.
- Improper slope: Uneven sidewalks may have large portions that do not line up with the rest of the walkway.
- Patchwork: In an effort to save money on repairs, it is common to see inadequate patchwork jobs on specific locations that make the sidewalk surface uneven.
- Snow and ice: Property owners must make sure that snow and ice are not permitted to accumulate.
- Missing cobblestones and bricks: It is necessary to properly maintain walkways that are not made from concrete to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
- Improperly placed cellar doors: Pedestrians can fall down cellar doors and poorly designed sidewalk vaults.
- Debris: It is important for property owners to sweep the sidewalk in front of their premises. Pedestrians can easily trip over anything left on a walkway.
Injuries Suffered in Sidewalk Accidents
There are a large number of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall sidewalk accidents that only result in minor contusions and scrapes. Some pedestrians, however, suffer serious injuries involving bone fractures of the wrist, arm, ankle, knee and shoulder. Sprains to ligaments and strains to muscles and tendons occur when pedestrians twist their bodies or when they land awkwardly. It is even possible for victims of sidewalk accidents to suffer head injuries and brain trauma if the victim’s head strikes the ground during the fall. These types of injuries can have a significant impact on the victim’s quality of life.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have fallen because of a defective sidewalk, take a moment to determine if you have suffered an injury. If you are hurt, it is important that you take the following steps:
- Call a Personal Injury Attorney right away
- Call for help right away.
- Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed your fall.
- Notify the property owner about the incident.
- Take photos of the hazardous location as soon as you can because it is possible that the damage will be rectified.
- Make sure you get medical attention right away.
Seeking Fair Compensation
Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, physical therapy, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. If you or a loved one has been injured in a sidewalk accident, the experienced New York premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. With more than 42 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else’s negligence.
Our law firm recently helped a worker receive a $400,000 verdict in a sidewalk accident case against the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. In that case, the worker fell into a hole and injured his shoulder for which he needed surgery and rehabilitative treatment. The verdict helped cover his medical bills and lost wages.
We have also recovered many millions of dollars for victims of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. 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 cases in 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: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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