Slip and fall accidents on New York City sidewalks can cause devastating injuries which result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. There are over 12,000 miles of sidewalk in New York City. And these stretches of pavement take a beating. The harsh East Coast winters, foot traffic, tree roots, and runoff can all create cracks, uneven surfaces, and other trip hazards-a grade difference as small as one-half an inch is enough to cause an accident.
In 2003, New York City Council members voted to change the law to shift responsibility for injuries caused by defects in the sidewalks to the abutting property owner. Homeowners of multiple dwellings less than four families are exempt from the new law provided the premises are owner occupied. Now, victims of most slip and fall accidents in New York City will be looking to hold the property owner liable, not the City of New York
Many of these trip hazards are reported via the 311 hotline. Reports lead to inspections and orders to repair-which must be accomplished within 45 days. If the property owner fails to repair the sidewalk, the city will fix it-eventually-and bill the owner.
But what happens if someone is injured on a defective sidewalk before it’s fixed?
Currently, the property owner is responsible for maintaining and repairing the sidewalk and can be held liable for not fixing the sidewalk. If the homeowner is exempt under the new law, the City is still responsible provided the City had at least fifteen days prior written notice of the sidewalk defect.
Common types of injuries associated with slip and fall accidents in New York include fractures, torn tendons and ligaments. These injuries can result in extensive medical and rehabilitative expenses and lost income due to time out of work .
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective sidewalk, contact an experienced New York City slip and fall accident attorney to recover the compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 today.