In the summer months, New Yorkers desperately try to beat the heat by getting out of the city. But sometimes you just can’t get out and that’s when air conditioning becomes a must-have for residents and businesses in The Big Apple. The next time you’re walking along the sidewalk look up and count the number of air conditioning units hanging overhead. What if one of those units should fall? What if you’re hurt? Who can you turn to and who is liable for such sidewalk accidents in New York.
In most residential buildings in New York, it’s the apartment or condo owner’s responsibility to install the unit and to make sure it’s done correctly in accordance with all New York City regulations. In fact, specific NYC regulations state that any unit installed 6 stories or higher must be secured with metal brackets or mounting rails.
It is recommended that owners do not perform the installation themselves. More importantly, hiring a professional and insured installer will remove the financial risk owners place on themselves in the event the air conditioner becomes dislodged and injures someone. Indeed, the installer will then bear the responsibility of an accident or injury.
If an installer is not employed to ensure the unit is safe and secure, the apartment building owner and renter might share in the responsibility of the accident, depending if the building owner knew or should have of the improperly installed air conditioner.
Like renters, co-op and condominium apartment owners will similarly be held responsible for an improperly installed air conditioner.
Victims of falling air conditioners have the right to seek compensation. However, determining and proving who is at fault may not be so easy. Contact an experienced New York City sidewalk accident attorney to deal with the difficult task of establishing liability and securing an award for your injuries, unpaid medical expenses and lost time from work.