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Sidewalk Accidents

Have you been hurt in a slip and fall on a sidewalk? If your accident was caused by negligent sidewalk repair or maintenance, uneven sidewalks, or other defects, you may have a claim to recover compensation for your injuries.

Sidewalk accident cases are complex as the city or a property owner may be responsible for maintenance. Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers has more than three decades of experience representing slip and fall accident victims and families in sidewalk accident cases. We are prepared to help you pursue fair compensation for the injuries you have sustained.

Who Is Responsible for Maintaining Sidewalks in New York City?

After an injury caused by a defective sidewalk, you may have a claim against the city, a business lessee, or a property owner.

Under New York City Administrative Code §7-210, property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks abutting their property. The New York City Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining NYC sidewalks on city-owned property and abutting single-family, two-family, and three-family residential homes.

Proving a New York Premises Liability Case

Property owners or the city have a duty to maintain sidewalks in reasonably safe condition. This comes with a duty to take reasonable steps to:

Not all cracks or damage to sidewalks rise to the level of a dangerous hazard. New York City Administrative Code states that uneven sidewalks with a height difference of at least a half-inch between slabs are unsafe. For other defects, many factors may be considered. In a premises liability case, a court will consider whether the hazard was open and obvious, the nature of the defects, the risk of injury from the defect, whether any preventative steps were taken, and how easy it would have been to avoid the hazard.

Dangerous sidewalk conditions

When sidewalks are not maintained correctly, they can become impassible for pedestrians with mobility issues. They can also pose a serious trip hazard that can lead to serious injury. Dangerous sidewalk conditions may include:

  • Uplifting slabs due to tree roots
  • Sinking slabs
  • Pavement buckling from heat or water
  • Settling concrete
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Large cracks
  • Uneven sidewalks with a large height difference between slabs

To prove your case, your New York injury lawyer will gather evidence regarding how long the hazard has existed, whether the property owner was aware of the conditions, and whether measures that were taken, if any, were reasonable and adequate to protect pedestrians from harm. Witness statements from neighbors, code violations like the use of asphalt to “correct” uneven concrete slabs, and surveillance footage may all be valuable forms of evidence to build your case. The property owner may have even received a notice of violation (NOV) from the Department of Transportation for a sidewalk code violation which can strengthen your case.

If you were hurt due to a defective sidewalk the City of New York is responsible for maintaining, your case will have additional hurdles. A successful claim requires proving the city received “prior written notice” of the defective conditions that caused your injury. You must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days which gives the city a limited amount of time to request a hearing. After the hearing, you will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Dangerous sidewalk conditions

Contact a New York Sidewalk Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Premises liability claims involving defective sidewalks are complex, especially if they involve city-owned sidewalks or falls caused by snow or ice. It’s crucial to work with an experienced New York injury lawyer who knows how to build your case with the evidence necessary.

At Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience handling all types of premises liability cases. We will put our reputation, resources, and experience to work on your behalf. Our multilingual New York trial lawyers have extensive courtroom experience. This means insurance companies take our law firm seriously during negotiations because they understand we are prepared to take a case to court if necessary.

Contact our law office today for a free case review with our New York defective sidewalk lawyers to discuss what we can do to help you. We can meet with you in our office, during a virtual consultation, or anywhere you are comfortable.

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