It should come as no surprise that the number of sidewalk accidents in New York City soars during the winter months but it’s not always the snow and ice that are responsible for these slip and fall accidents. As the ground and water underneath sidewalks and paving stones freezes, it expands. This can lift these sidewalk flagstones, cause them to mislevel, crack or shift them out of place. This can leave dangerous holes or cracks and raised/uneven sidewalk flagstones that can trip up unsuspecting pedestrians.
Indeed, when you take into account the sheer number of relatively minor slip and fall accidents in New York that happen every day due to uneven flagstones it’s clear to see that the danger of simply walking down the sidewalk is very real. While most healthy young folks can recovery fairly quickly from a minor slip and fall accident on a defective sidewalk in New York City, children, older individuals, or victims with pre-existing conditions can suffer severe, even life-threatening, injuries.
Indeed, falls are one of the leading contributing factors to lethal accidents in the elderly population. Broken bones can result lead to infection, confinement to bed either at home or the hospital, a permanent disabling injury or worse.
While frost and ice upheaval of sidewalk flagstones may be a natural occurrence, victims can hold the City of New York or adjacent property owners liable for their injuries, medical expenses and lost time from work. In specific circumstances, New York City law specifically states that the owner of the property adjacent to the defective sidewalk is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalk. In the other instances, the City of New York remains responsible. The exemption is only for homeowners of less than a four family dwelling that live on the property and use the property exclusively for residential purposes.
If you’ve been injured on a defective sidewalk, contact an experienced sidewalk accident attorney in New York City today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 right now.