When it comes to sidewalks, the city of New York has stringent codes on the books in order to ensure these public thoroughfares are safe, secure, and easily accessible for all New Yorkers. These rules apply to all sidewalks in New York City and building owners can be held responsible for the inspection, repair, and maintenance of sidewalks adjacent to their properties. However, as one investigative report found, a significant portion of the sidewalks are in disrepair. Most significantly, a number of heavily-trafficked intersections have sidewalks and curbs that are difficult for anyone to navigate. This, says the author, is likely to lead to an increase in the number of trip and fall sidewalks accidents in New York.
Shockingly, the report published by the West Side Rag states that there are over 162,000 corners in NYC that are in poor repair or are just plain improperly constructed that they are not considered ADA compliant. That means that roughly 13% of New York’s populations (those who struggle with mobility or visual-impairment issues).
Worse yet, in 2017 the city settled a class-action lawsuit pertaining to publically accessible areas and agreed to make changes and upgrades to make these potentially hazardous sidewalk installations safe and compliant. However, the plan doesn’t call for the work to be finished for another 12 years.
Much of the danger comes from curb cuts at crosswalks. A vast number of these have crumbling tactile mats, uneven pavers, are fronted by potholes, and fill with water (which becomes ice when the temps drop far enough). Any and all of these hazards are potential slip/trip and fall risks that could leave anyone with a serious injury. Trying to cross these damaged thresholds presents a challenge for even an agile person.
If you’ve tripped or fallen at any of these defective crosswalk cuts, you could potentially hold the city or the adjacent property owner liable for your injuries, lost wages, and more. Contact an experienced sidewalk accident attorney in New York City today at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 8800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.