There are an estimated 39,000 sidewalk grates across New York City, some covering holes in the pavement 80 feet deep or deeper. These pose a serious threat to the safety of any New Yorker simply walking down the street. In fact, hundreds of people are injured every year in sidewalk grate accidents in New York City. Many suffer bruises, scrapes, and maybe twisted ankles from simple slip and fall accidents but many are injured much more seriously. Some suffer with broken bones, nerve damage, or even brain damage and some of the victims don’t survive their falls.
Just last summer a 30-year old homeless man was killed when a sidewalk cellar door in Brooklyn collapsed under his feet. He fell twenty feet into a concrete basement below and died instantly. Witnesses said he didn’t even have a chance to react. The door simply opened below him and the ground swallowed him up.
Last year the City received 40 complaints concerning unsafe, improperly maintained, or damaged sidewalk grates. In the first three months of this year they’ve already received 19. If the calls keep coming in at this rate, by the end of the year the complaints will reach a record 75.
These complaints range from raised edges (which pose a tripping hazard) to unsafe surfaces (which could collapse at any given moment).
Property owners are responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing these sidewalk grates on a regular basis. If they fail to do so, they can be held financially responsible for any damages or injuries the grates cause. If the grate in question is owned by the city or a utility company, the liability falls upon them.
It’s important that victims document the area immediately after the accident in terms of prior incidents, if possible and photographing the scene .
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a property owner’s negligence, contact a New York City sidewalk grate accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.