The changing of the seasons is often something many of us look forward to. However, inter-seasonal weather can be a bit of a challenge. With temperatures fluctuating rapidly and storms bringing a variety of snow, ice, rain, and general nastiness, sidewalks in the city can quickly turn into hazardous pathways to navigate. Indeed, the number of sidewalk accidents in New York City tends to increase during these changeable times of the year for a variety of reasons. But as variable as the weather is, one thing never changes—who is liable for sidewalk maintenance and injuries caused by slip and fall accidents.
Temperature changes can dramatically change the supporting ground structure beneath sidewalk pavers. This can lead to broken, cracked and uneven pavers that can rise or sink (creating trip hazards). Even a height difference of one-half inch is dangerous and can cause a trip and fall accident.
In addition, various types of precipitation can create a variety of hazards. Rain can cause liquefaction (turning the dirt under pavers to quicksand). It can also completely wash out supporting gravel structures leaving pavers and concrete teetering on the brink of collapse.
Commercial property owners and homeowners of greater than three family dwellings are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. The City of New York remains responsible for the other sidewalks. These sidewalks must be kept clear of snow and ice, regularly inspected and repaired and maintained in a reasonably timely fashion. If a hazard (such as an uneven paver or broken sidewalk) is not repaired and a pedestrian is injured by that defect, the property owner or the City could be responsible for victim’s injuries and lost time from work.
If you’ve been injured on any of the hundreds of miles of public sidewalks, you need to consult with an experienced sidewalk accident attorney in New York City as soon as possible to determine who is responsible. Call the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel today at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.