No one ever expects to walk down the sidewalk and succumb to injury. However, on occasion, conditions on the sidewalk may be hazardous and can lead to falls resulting in broken bones, sprains, herniated discs, head injuries, traumatic brain injury, and even permanent disability. Such injuries may arise due to snow or icy conditions; potholes; raised sidewalks; debris such as garbage, twigs, branches and/or slippery leaves.
It may be difficult to determine who is responsible for your sidewalk injury. However, in New York City, a statute exists that imposes liability on the owner of the property that abuts the sidewalk under certain circumstances, absolving the City of most liability. This means that the property owner is responsible for removing snow, ice, or debris; and repairing any damage or defects. Additionally, the City may issue violations for dangerous conditions and order the property owner to repair them. If the property owner fails to repair a dangerous condition within forty five days of notice, the City may perform the work and recover the debt from the owner, or else lien their property.
In order for a plaintiff to prevail in a personal injury action against a property owner for a sidewalk injury, the plaintiff must prove that the owner caused, or knew or should have known about the condition that led to the injury.
If you have suffered from an injury that was caused by a sidewalk condition, it is important to first seek any medical attention you might need. If possible, take a photo of the condition that caused the injury and get the contact information for any witnesses who observed the incident.
In dealing with personal injury cases, it is important to remember that there are statutes of limitation in as little as 90 days in some instances, which may bar a claim if brought too late. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and remedies. Call Arze & Mollica, LLP at (718) 996-5600 for a free consultation today.