With miles and miles of sidewalks in the New York City area, it is common to see various defective conditions on sidewalks which can be dangerous for pedestrians. Throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island, you may see height differentials between sidewalk flags, broken expansion joints, holes, cracks, crevices, and similar defects.
Under the law in New York known as Administrative Code 7-210, an adjacent property owner is responsible for a defective sidewalk which abuts his or her property. This simply means that if the sidewalk defect is in front of the property or adjoins the property on the side, the property owner is responsible. Lawsuits against the property owner will be defended by the homeowner’s insurance carrier.
The exception to the rule deals with defects adjoining one, two, or three family owner occupied houses. In such cases, the correct defendant will be the City of New York and these lawsuits will be defended by the Office of the Corporation Counsel on behalf of the City. For cases against the City, a Notice of Claim must be filed within ninety (90) days of the occurrence setting forth details including the manner in which the accident occurred and the specific location where the injury took place.
The reason for this law is to allow the City to investigate the incident and claim. Further, a lawsuit must be filed within one year and ninety (90) days from the date of accident against the City. With private property owner lawsuits, the lawsuit may be filed within three years of the accident.
Types of Sidewalk Defects
triangular holes or mislevelings at or near expansion joints between sidewalk flags
height differentials including one sidewalk flag being higher than an adjacent flag
tree roots pushing up portions of the sidewalk or creating cracks
transient conditions such as oil, garbage, construction debris, rocks, pebbles, puddles, and the like
conditions which were caused and created by the landlord or business owner including
Construction debris from a property
Garbage, plastic bags, boxes, paper bags, plastic cartons, loose foods such as fruits, vegetables from a business that displays products and or foods outside their property and allows these items to become a hazard on the sidewalk
Types of Injuries Individuals Suffer after Sidewalk Accidents
fractures to the elbow, wrist, hand due to trying to break the fall with your hands
injuries to the face and head including stitches, lacerations, and scrapes due to striking your head during a fall when you are unable to brace yourself with your hands
head injury including traumatic brain injury
back injuries including herniated discs
knee injuries including torn meniscus, torn ACL, need for arthroscopic surgery
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury due to a trip and fall on a defective sidewalk, call the sidewalk accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm for a consultation. We handle sidewalk accident litigation with no upfront charges or fees of any kind. We are available at (866) ATTY LAW or (212) 222-1111.