Just last week a young man was injured in a bizarre sidewalk accident in New York. The 20-year old was crossing the street in Buffalo, New York when the ground opened up beneath him and swallowed him whole. The three-foot wide hole appeared without notice in the middle of the street and the man had no time to react. Though relatively narrow, the whole was reportedly deep and the young man suffered unspecified injuries in the fall. He was taken to a nearby hospital and later discharged to continue recovery at home.
While this particular sidewalk accident in New York took place outside the City, New York is slightly infamous for its sinkholes. Because of the massive infrastructure under the City (water mains, sewer pipes, utility conduits, and subway tunnels), the ground under our feet is often unstable. When pipes burst or storm water causes erosion, sinkholes form from the bottom up. They can be growing underground for days, months or years with no notice and then the pavement and everything above it simply disappears into the earth.
Just last year sinkholes:
- Opened up on The Lower East Side (right in front of Katz’s Delicatessen)
- Nearly swallowed a parked car in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
- Did swallow an entire sanitation truck in Washington Heights
Thankfully, nobody was injured in any of these sinkhole accidents. However, one misstep or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time could have resulted in permanent injuries and even death.
If you’ve been injured by a sinkhole in New York City, you could recover financial damages for unpaid medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering for your injuries. For example, if the sinkhole was caused by faulty workmanship or poor maintenance of a water line which burst, you could potentially bring a lawsuit against the City, private property owner or a utility company.
Contact a New York City sidewalk accident attorney today to discuss the legal options available to you. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.