Slip And Fall Accidents In New York City | What You Need To Know
Table of Contents
- Common Causes of Sidewalk Defects
- How Does New York City Inspect the Sidewalks?
- Notices of Sidewalk Violations
- What Are the Common Reasons for Sidewalk Slip and Falls?
- Who Is Liable for Sidewalk Slip and Falls in New York City?
- What Should I Do After a Sidewalk Slip and Fall?
- Can a New York City Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me Compensate for Both Material Costs and Pain & Suffering?
- What Are the Challenges of Suing NYC?
- Is there a Time Limit on Suing New York City?
- What is the Likelihood of Making an Insurance Claim Without a Lawsuit?
- How Can a Rimland Sidewalk Slip and Fall Lawyer Help You?
- Contact a Rimland Law Slip and Fall Attorney Today
New York City is an exciting maze of streets connecting buildings, parks, museums and more. Lining these streets are more than 12,000 miles of sidewalks. As COVID-19 caused an increase in the number of people walking from place to place to avoid close contact with Uber drivers and public transit riders, keeping the sidewalks safe has become greatly important.
Interestingly, the width of sidewalks in New York City varies greatly from street to street, making it difficult to practice social distancing in many parts of the city. These narrow widths can make it challenging for pedestrians to walk safely in these areas. Add to this the challenges of potholes and cracked sidewalks, and there are quite a number of hazards in the city. Weather can also play a role in making sidewalks challenging to navigate. Heavy rain, snow, and ice can create slip and fall hazards that put pedestrians at risk.
If you are injured in a sidewalk slip and fall case, you may be due compensation for your injuries. Rimland Law has experienced New York City sidewalk slip and fall attorneys who can help you navigate this process and get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Sidewalk Defects
Like most things, sidewalks wear out over time. However, there are certain problems that can make it more likely that sidewalks could turn into a hazard. These issues include:
- Tree roots that cause the sidewalk to become uneven
- Missing or defective curbs that create a tripping hazard
- Risks from other parties, such as contractors or utility companies
- Weather hazards
In 2021, 11% of all New York City personal injury cases were sidewalk slip and fall cases, and the city reported $61.7 million in settlement payments. Because of the city’s large pedestrian population, this is a serious risk.
How Does New York City Inspect the Sidewalks?
The NYC Department of Transportation routinely inspects sidewalks to ensure people are safe. If problems arise, they send a Notice of Sidewalk Violation to the property’s owner. The owner then has 75 days to make the necessary changes to make the sidewalk safe.
Notices of Sidewalk Violations
If a property owner receives a Notice of Sidewalk Violations, they must make the necessary repairs within that 75-day limit. They will receive details of the infractions and need to hire a contractor who understands NYC DOT specifications for sidewalks. After repairs are made, they need to request a dismissal inspection to take the notice away. If a property owner ignores the Notice of Sidewalk Violation, and someone is injured as a result, then the property owner could be liable.
What Are the Common Reasons for Sidewalk Slip and Falls?
According to the NYC DOT, the most common reasons for sidewalk slip and fall cases in the city are:
- Collapsed sidewalks that create potholes
- Tripping hazards, such as large cracks or uneven seams
- An improper slope to the sidewalk, which makes walking unsafe
- Hardware tripping hazards, such as drains and pipes sticking up from the sidewalk
- Poorly done patchwork that has come loose
Who Is Liable for Sidewalk Slip and Falls in New York City?
If you are injured while walking on a public pathway or on private property, whose fault is it, and who can you hold responsible? The answer depends on the topic of negligence. Accidents can and do happen. Some accidents, despite causing serious injuries, may not involve negligence. In those instances, recovering damages can be extremely difficult when there is no evidence of negligence. With a personal injury attorney New York City residents can get help determining negligence, even in these tricky cases.
When you experience a slip and fall accident on a public street, potential liability may be assigned to the party in charge of its upkeep. In situations where a government body is responsible, like a city or municipality, filing for compensation for any resulting injuries can be legally pursued.
Similarly, sometimes the property’s owner is responsible for repairing the sidewalks well. If that responsibility gets neglected, the property owner is the liable party, and you may be able to sue for compensation due to their negligence.
What Should I Do After a Sidewalk Slip and Fall?
After a sidewalk slip and fall accident, you need to take specific steps to protect your rights. These include:
- Take pictures. If you are able to move without further injuring yourself take pictures of your surroundings and anything that may have contributed to your fall.
- Get help. If you are injured, do not tough it out. Seek the help of a medical professional who can attend to your injuries and help ensure you do not do any further damage. Rejecting medical treatment could dramatically impact your claim.
- Keep detailed records. Save every receipt for any costs you incur after your injury. This could include transportation, childcare, and medical treatment.
- Do not make any public statements about your injury or the events that took place. Anything you say regarding your accident could be used against you in a sidewalk accident case. Posting on social media about anything related to your slip and fall accident, your injuries, or any details regarding your case should be avoided.
This is also the time to talk to an attorney. An experienced New York City personal injury lawyer with slip and fall experience will help you navigate the days ahead so you can make wise choices that do not put your rights at risk.
Can a New York City Slip and Fall Attorney Help Me Compensate for Both Material Costs and Pain & Suffering?
The best way to get a fair settlement that includes both pain and suffering and the material costs of your injury is to work with a New York City personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you consider all of the costs of your injury, including:
- Lost wages
- Ongoing medical care
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
- And more
The best thing to do to ensure you are fairly compensated is to reach out to a New York slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
What Are the Challenges of Suing NYC?
Taking legal action against the government comes with its own set of unique challenges. That is why you need to speak to an attorney who can help investigate your incident and any history of events similar to yours at that location. This information may not be readily available to the public. Are you considering taking legal action? If so, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- The city has its own legal team, meaning you need an attorney to defend your rights properly.
- The city will not assign proper value to your damages, so any offer you receive is likely lower than it should be.
- A consultation with a New York slip and fall lawyer from Rimland Law is free, so you have nothing to lose by getting representation.
Remember, the city spends millions each year on sidewalk slip and fall injury cases. They know how to fight these well. You need proper representation to protect yourself well.
Is there a Time Limit on Suing New York City?
Yes, for most cases, you must file the slip and fall lawsuit within three years of your injury due to the state’s statute of limitations. When they work with a slip and fall attorney, New York City residents can ensure they do not miss this important window.
What is the Likelihood of Making an Insurance Claim Without a Lawsuit?
If you reach out to the at-fault party after your accident without the help of a personal injury attorney New York NY, you may get offered a large settlement from their insurance provider. This can be tempting but remember it is usually not in your best interests. The only way to be confident that you have a fair settlement is with the help of the best personal injury lawyer in New York City. Get that help with Rimland Law.
How Can a Rimland Sidewalk Slip and Fall Lawyer Help You?
When you contact a personal injury attorney in New York NY from Rimland Law, you will get help navigating this process. Your attorney will:
- Investigate the details of the case to determine who is at fault
- Document your injuries
- Calculate the ongoing cost of those injuries
- Fight to ensure you are adequately compensated, both for current costs and future impacts
- Ensure you are free to focus on your healing
- Protect you from the allure of settlements that aren’t in your best interests
Get a tenacious personal injury lawyer in New York with Rimland Law.
Contact a Rimland Law Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you are looking for the best personal injury lawyer New York City has to offer, consider the team at Rimland Law. Our passionate legal team wants to help you get fair compensation for your injuries. We recently achieved a $375,000 settlement for a client who slipped on a sidewalk in Harlem and suffered injuries to his ankle. You could be due similar compensation, but you need the help of a personal injury attorney in New York City. Reach out today to talk to a New York City personal injury lawyer and receive your initial consultation for free.