In October of last year, a man was waiting at a bus stop when the sidewalk below him collapsed. He fell a dozen feet below ground, striking metal and stone as he went, and landed—trapped—with rats, trash, and dirty water all around him until rescuers could extract him from the hole. The investigation into this sidewalk grate accident in New York City revealed that a sidewalk grate had deteriorated and undermined the supports holding the sidewalk up.
It is common for New Yorkers to be injured when a grate is uneven with the walking surface of the sidewalk (either raised or sunken) and they trip and fall. Sometimes, the grates simply deteriorate over time, become unlevel and cause a trip hazard. Unfortunately, sometimes the grates fail completely and collapse under our body weight into the voids below.
People injured in sidewalk grate accidents in New York City have suffered injuries of varying severity ranging from a few scrapes and bruises to broken bones and limbs which require surgery.
But who is responsible for the serious injuries caused by sidewalk grate accidents in New York City?
The law dictates that such sidewalk grates must be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired. If any damage is noted, the hazard must be addressed within a reasonable time. Moreover, the Administrative Code of New York City not only requires that the owners of the grates and utility covers maintain the grates and covers but also the 12 inches surrounding the grate or cover. Regardless of who owns or maintains the sidewalk, the City, Transit Authority or the utility company will be primarily responsible to the injured party in the event of a trip and fall accident over or near their grate or cover.
If you’ve been injured while walking the City sidewalk or streets, contact an experienced sidewalk grate accident attorney in New York today to insure that you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.