Whether you are visiting or living in New York City you must constantly be aware of the dangers presented by uneven, misleveled, cracked, broken, and crumbling sidewalks.
At Jaroslawicz & Jaros our experienced Personal Injury attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of cases involving persons injured while simply using a sidewalk. Although everyone is familiar with sidewalks, and uses them on a daily basis, people just do not realize how dangerous a slip, trip and fall accident on a sidewalk can be.
We have unfortunately, represented clients who suffered serious, devastating and life altering injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, fractured or dislocated coccyx, elbow, femur, or shoulder, and even death, as a result of a simple “slip, trip or fall" on a sidewalk.
There are many causes for trips, slips and falls on sidewalks.
Sidewalks become a danger to pedestrians if they are not level, have cracks or raised areas or have any other obstruction. People do not realize that a crack may be only ½ inch in height or depth but that is more than enough to catch a sole or heel of a shoe and cause a trip and fall accident.
To understand why misleveled or broken sidewalks are so dangerous is to think of it simply as a matter of numbers. Thousands of people in the City of New York may daily walk over a cracked or raised area, without tripping or falling. Some of the people will trip due to the misleveled sidewalk but will, fortunately, not fall or be injured. Of the many thousands walking over this same sidewalk a small number will actually trip and fall, but will also not suffer any serious injuries. However, unfortunately, of those who do fall a small number will be injured and the injuries can at times be very serious.
Those who are injured have a right to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries.
Defective sidewalks are especially dangerous for our elderly or disabled citizens or for persons using a cane or crutches.
In New York City the law provides that the adjoining landowner is generally responsible to repair and maintain the sidewalk in front of their premises in a safe condition.
The Administrative Code of the City of New York requires owners of real property abutting any sidewalk to maintain that sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition, which includes repaving, repairing and replacing defective sidewalk flags (Administrative Code § 7-210[ 3]).
Furthermore, property owners are specifically required to, at their own cost and expense, to repave or repair any portion of the sidewalk that constitutes a tripping hazard where “the vertical grade differential between adjacent sidewalk flags is greater than or equal to one half inch” (Administrative Code § 19-152[ a] [ 4]).
At our firm, Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have been successful in proving that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition of the sidewalk based on how long it had existed and were granted “liability” by the Court without the need to go to trial to prove liability, so that the only remaining question was the award of damages based on the severity of the injuries and possibly plaintiff’s comparative negligence.
If you are dealing with a serious personal injury caused by an uneven, cracked, broken, or crumbling sidewalk, you should immediately contact a lawyer with experience in this field of law so that an investigation can be started immediately. In today’s day and age there are often videos to be obtained, but that are destroyed or overwritten within thirty days; witnesses may need to be interviewed; photographs and measurements should be taken as soon as possible as changes and alterations can take place after an accident.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury due to a New York City sidewalk accident you are in need of legal assistance as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.