Are slips and falls on public sidewalks the city’s responsibility in New York?

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pedestrians on sidewalk

In New York, pedestrians rely on sidewalks to safely navigate the roadways on foot. Sidewalks are virtually everywhere as they offer a safe space for vulnerable road users. With heavy traffic in the Big Apple, many individuals opt for walking as their mode of transportation as it comes with many benefits, including staying active and reducing their carbon footprint. For the most part, the appropriate parties fulfill their duty to keep sidewalks regularly maintained and provide pedestrians with the shelter they need from vehicles on the road. However, this is not always the case, and accidents happen. If sidewalks are not kept in good condition, serious injuries may occur. In such cases, you may be wondering whether you can take legal action against the city for your damages. Please continue reading to learn whether slips and falls on public sidewalks are the city’s responsibility and how a dedicated New York City Sidewalk Accidents Lawyer can help you get justice. 

Who’s responsible for maintaining NYC sidewalks?

If you were hurt due to unsafe sidewalk conditions, you may be wondering who is to blame for your injuries. It’s vital to determine who bears responsibility for an accident as you will be required to satisfy the burden of proof, meaning you must prove the at-fault parties’ negligence caused your injuries. Essentially, you must fulfill the burden of proof before you can collect any compensation for your damages.

In New York, property owners are responsible for regularly maintaining their premises, ensuring a safe environment for all by remedying any dangerous conditions, or providing adequate warnings of potentially hazardous situations to prevent accidents and injuries. If they fail to uphold their legal obligation, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a direct result of their negligence.

Who’s liable for a slip-and-fall accident on a public sidewalk?

Depending on where the sidewalk is located, the duty to safely maintain it could rest on either a government entity or a business that privately owns it. Generally, the sidewalk owner is the owner of the adjacent property. However, when the sidewalk adjoins a public road, it is considered municipal property.

Therefore, if a municipality fails to regularly maintain sidewalks to keep them in good condition for pedestrians, they can be held accountable for injuries that occur due to their negligence. For example, if you are injured in a slip and fall accident on the curbside of a sidewalk, it is the responsibility of the city. If you were injured on a public sidewalk due to hazardous conditions, you may have a valid claim against the city. However, it’s important to note that if you decide to take legal action against a government entity, you will have a much shorter time frame to file your claim. Instead of having three years, you will only have 90 days from the date of the accident to file a Notice of Claims, which provides the municipality before the commencement of your lawsuit that they may be subject to a claim for damages. If you fail to meet the fixed deadline, it will result in the absolute bar of recovery.

To maximize your chances of recovering monetary compensation for your damages, it is in your best interest to retain the legal services of a talented lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.

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