Even during a relatively mild winter (like this last one), the elements can have a devastating effect on the sidewalks. In fact, spring is one of the most dangerous seasons for sidewalk accidents in New York City. Temperature changes, ice, and snow removal (including use of chemical ice melt) can damage or even destroy the sidewalk concrete. This leaves uneven, raised and broken surfaces which pose a severe slip or trip and fall hazard for pedestrians.
Under New York’s Administrative Code, property owners including the City of New York are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining sidewalks adjoining their properties. One-, two-, and three-family owned residential properties which are owner occupied and used exclusively for residential purposes are not held liable for injuries sustained by someone who is injured by a defective sidewalk.
Some of the most commonly damaged sidewalks are:
- Collapsed Sidewalks
- Cracked, uneven and raised flagstones
- Sidewalks raised by tree roots
- Improperly patched or repaired sidewalks
The responsibility of maintaining a safe sidewalk really does rest on the City of New York and property owners. While Section 7-210 of the New York City Administrative Code makes certain property owners potentially liable for personal injuries caused by their failure to maintain reasonably safe sidewalks, determining liability can be difficult. Lease agreements and other legal measures allow property owners to transfer this responsibility to tenants, merchants, property managers or building maintenance companies. This is especially true when the accident occurs on a sidewalk adjacent to a commercial property, apartment building or house of worship .
This means getting the compensation you deserve is complicated and could be difficult without legal assistance.
Determining liability against all the responsible parties is an essential step in securing the financial compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost time from work. Contact an expert New York City sidewalk accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible. The experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel can help. Call for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.