New York’s sidewalks come with a great many hazards. There’s snow, ice, severe cracks, improper sloping, missing sidewalk sections, and potholes. There are also at times obstructions or other dangers. When sidewalks are often packed with pedestrians it’s not even always easy to see what might trip you up.
These accidents can be quite serious. Head and spinal injuries are common. Injuries that lead to chronic pain are common. For older Americans, a slip and fall can lose to a loss of independence.
When someone else’s negligence causes your fall, you have the right to seek compensation, but it won’t be easy. Taking the proper steps will maximize your chances of a successful slip and fall case.
Steps to Take After a Slip-and-Fall
After every slip and fall you should:
- Find someone to notify. If it’s a city sidewalk you should inform a police officer or city employee. If a private property, inform the property owner or an employee.
- Get a written incident report.
- Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Seek treatment and follow all of your medical provider’s instructions.
- Take pictures of where you slipped and fell. Capture the precise location and the local conditions.
- Take photos of your shoes.
- Call a lawyer as soon as you are medically capable of doing so.
Failing to take even one of these steps will undermine your ability to recover compensation after your accident.
Who is responsible for your sidewalk slip-and-fall?
It depends on who the owner of the sidewalk is. Often it will be the owner of the property. At times it will be the city government.
It’s the city any time the accident occurs on a sidewalk that abuts a residential home (anything with less than three units), the owner of the home resides in the home, and the city of New York has previously received “prior written notice" of the dangerous condition.
When the City is Responsible
You have just 90 days to inform the City of New York that you’ve been injured on a sidewalk they’re responsible for. You should move quickly to choose a personal injury attorney and put them to work on your case.
When a Private Party is Responsible
You’ll need an attorney to help you file a claim against the business owner. Their property insurance company will generally be responsible for paying your compensation if your case is successful.
Note that property owners will generally only be liable if they should have known about the hazard and they had time to handle it. This includes ice and snow. If the snow started at 2 AM and you fell at 4 AM you might not have a case, as the property owner wouldn’t have been up yet to send someone out to clear the sidewalks.
Get Help Today
Nobody wants to pay for a sidewalk slip and fall, which means you’ve got to move fast to make sure if you want compensation. Our experienced team is here to help. Contact us to get a free consultation today.