Who is at Fault if I Fall on a Broken Sidewalk?
New York City can be an extremely busy and chaotic place to live. People are constantly trying to weave their way through congested streets, trying to dodge other people while also trying to pay attention to the condition of the sidewalk they are walking on. As a result, these busy New York sidewalks see numerous trip and fall or slip and fall accidents on a daily basis.
In most cases, the town or city where the sidewalk sits is responsible to people who are injured on the sidewalk. In New York City, however, commercial property owners and owners of apartment buildings are required to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses “in reasonably safe condition” meaning that they have a certain responsibility to maintain their sidewalks and prevent dangerous conditions that may lead to you or a loved one falling and becoming injured. This may entail shoveling snow, repairing uneven or broken areas of pavement, fixing loose bricks, and watching out for grating that is raised, obtrusive, or poses a tripping hazard. The City is still responsible for the sidewalks in front of small, owner occupied buildings.
Thousands of people go to the hospital or doctor for slip and fall accidents on sidewalks in New York every year. Some of the most common injuries that may occur if you slip and fall on a sidewalk in New York are:
Broken Bones: Many broken bones can take weeks to heal, and if complications occur you may require surgery, physical therapy, or in more extreme cases, amputation.
Spinal Damage: Trauma to the spinal cord can include fractures, nerve damage, and a dislocated vertebra could result in partial or full paralysis, chronic pain, tingling, loss of feeling, and changes to your fine motor skills.
Traumatic Brain Injury: A hard blow to your head can cause damage to the soft tissue of your brain. While some minor traumatic brain injuries are rather easy to recover from, others could lead to long lasting complications such as changes in your speech, motor function, memory, and could even result in a coma.
To prove that another party should be held liable for your slip and fall accident and pay for any damages you may have suffered, there must be some evidence of negligence. This means that the property owner knew the sidewalk was unsafe, whether or not they were the cause of the initial problems themselves, but then failed to rectify the situation or warn the public.
As you can imagine, there are also many slip and fall accidents that occur on public sidewalks which would fall into the hands of the city. These cases may be a bit more complicated because cities, such as New York City, are held to a different standard of responsibility when it comes to maintaining their sidewalks.
If you were injured as a result of a sidewalk slip and fall accident, then you may be able to receive monetary compensation for the damages you suffered. Your first step after receiving medical treatment is to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can tell you what legal recourses may be available to you in your situation and who may be held liable.
Every personal injury case is different, but they all require a personalized approach and investigation in order to prove negligence. The personal injury attorneys at Greenberg & Stein have more than 75 years of combined experience and will fight to make sure you receive the compensation you need if you’ve been injured due to the fault of another person, business, or government entity.
We offer free, 24/7 legal consultations and can walk you through what legal options are available to you following your injury in New York City. Contact us today at 888-411-3966.