NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawyer

NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawyer

New York City Sidewalk Trip And Fall Accidents:

The sidewalks of New York City are far too frequently poorly maintained. Broken uneven sidewalks pose a significant risk of injury. Many of us have tripped and stumbled on broken sidewalks and have not sustained serious injury. However, a broken or uneven sidewalk can cause very real and serious injuries with unfortunate lasting consequences. In 2003 the responsibility to maintain sidewalks was effectively shifted from the City of New York to the abutting landowner pursuant to § 7-210 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. There is a specific exemption of responsibility to one, two or three family dwellings that are owner occupied and not used for anything other than residential purpose. In such situation the responsibility remains with the City of New York.

For buildings not owner occupied or used in whole or part for commercial use, the abutting building owner has the following statutory requirement:

“Failure to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition shall include, but not be limited to, the negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace defective sidewalk flags and the negligent failure to remove snow, ice, dirt or other material from the sidewalk.” 7-210B.

What To Do After A Sidewalk Accident:

Call for emergency help if necessary. Try and obtain any contact information from any witnesses. Give an accurate version of the accident to the medical providers without too much detail.

Once your injury has been stabilized reach out for legal representation. It is important that your lawyer has the opportunity to conduct timely investigation of the location of the accident before anything changes. When you are physically able to visit the site, it is important that we secure photos of you pointing to the defective condition that caused your accident.

Requirements Of Proof In Defective Sidewalk Cases:

In defective sidewalk cases, we must prove that there was an unreasonably dangerous condition that was a cause of your accident. One important element is what is called legal notice. Legal notice arises from the basic principle that a defendant can only be found at fault for a condition unless either they actually knew of the condition (actual notice) or the condition was in existence for more than a reasonable period of time that in the exercise of reasonable care they should have known of the condition (constructive notice).

The legal notice requirement can be a central aspect of potential dispute in a sidewalk related accident. For this reason, it is important to timely investigate the scene of the accident so that an expert may be retained that can speak to the length of time that a defect was likely in existence before the actual accident.

Types Of Defective Sidewalk Conditions:

In New York City there are many type of defective sidewalk conditions that can cause serious injury. Raised or sunken flagstones, broken sections of sidewalk, holes in the sidewalk, curbs that are uneven with the sidewalk; tree roots that have expanded underneath and have created a tripping hazard on the sidewalk.

Comparative Fault:

New York State recognizes pure comparative fault. In other words the degree of fault can be allocated between the parties based upon a percentage finding that must add up to 100 percent.

A pedestrian in a defective sidewalk case is responsible to take reasonable precautions. The fact that a visible sidewalk defect could be seen does not necessarily mean that the pedestrian was negligent. The failure to observe the defect, however, could be considered in determining the pedestrian’s comparative negligence.

It is the burden of proof of the defendant to prove comparative fault on the part of the pedestrian.

Recorded statements provided to an insurance company or an investigator from the insurance company can often provide a means of proof for the defendant to prove comparative fault.

It is therefore strongly recommended that you do not provide any recorded or written statements, until you first speak to qualified counsel.

Cases Against The City Of New York:

In cases where the abutting owner exemption applies, the City of New York is responsible to maintain the sidewalk. However, in claims against the City of New York, it is required that we prove that the City received prior written notice at least fifteen (15) days before the subject occurrence. Freedom of Information Law requests can be made to the Department of Transportation to check for prior written notice. The prior written notice requirement is often hard to meet. In order to obtain a comprehensive response, it is important that the requests for prior written notice be properly framed, and for this reason is something that should be left to qualified counsel.

Lastly, with respect to possible City of New York responsibility, it is important to note that there is a Notice of Claim requirement, wherein the initial claim must be filed within ninety (90) days from the date of occurrence in order to preserve your right to later sue.

Defective Hardware Embedded Into The Sidewalk And Streets:

The City of New York sidewalks and streets have numerous grates, cellar doors, manhole covers, gas caps and other objects embedded in the sidewalk and streets.

These structures are often not properly maintained and do cause injury to pedestrians who are caused to trip and fall due to their unsafe condition.

Section 2-07 of the Rules and Regulations of the City of New York require that owner of covers and gratings monitor their condition and the area extending twelve inches outward from the perimeter of the cover or grating. The provision also requires the owner to repair any defective condition of the cover or grating and the defective sidewalk/street area extending twelve inches surrounding.

The provision also requires that the hardware to be flush with the sidewalk/roadway. Hardware that extends greater than ½ inch above or below the street surface requires replacement.

Section 2-07 creates a basis for liability to the extent that a pedestrian is injured in a trip and fall related accident due to improperly maintained hardware.

There is also a basis for liability upon the party that derives a special use from the embedded hardware that is not properly maintained. This includes gas caps that provide a means of gas delivery, cellar doors that provide a means of access. Under these circumstances, the entity that derives the special use may be liable for the defective condition even if the hardware is not owned by the party that derives the “special use.”

If you or someone you know has been injured in New York City as a pedestrian as a result of the negligence of another, please contact our office for a free no obligation consultation.

CALL (212) 840-7000

NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawyer

The law firm of JOEL J. TURNEY, LLC., has significant experience is NYC sidewalk related accidents. Our lawyers know exactly what to do in representing a pedestrian involved in a NYC sidewalk accident. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a NYC sidewalk accident, contact our lawyers today. The consultation for any NYC sidewalk accident is always free and there is no obligation to retain our firm as your NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawyer.

Many people are unfortunately injured in NYC sidewalk related accidents and either do nothing or do not know what to do. NYC statutes place the burden upon the abutting property owners to the sidewalk (of qualified properties) to maintain the sidewalk in a condition compliant with the statute.

Failure to maintain a NYC sidewalk compliant with the statute may result in legal liability. If one has sustained minor injuries as a result of a trip and fall on a NYC sidewalk, then it does not make sense to pursue a legal claim. However, if a pedestrian has sustained a serious or significant injury as a result of a defective NYC sidewalk, then they should not delay contacting a lawyer with significant experience in NYC sidewalk accidents.

A lawyer fully familiar with NYC sidewalk accidents will know immediately what should be done to preserve the evidence of the dangerous condition, what records that are critical in a NYC sidewalk accident and how to pursue a NYC sidewalk related accident to get the best possible result for the injured pedestrian.

NYC Sidewalk Accident Lawyer