If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident on a sidewalk, your legal liability is determined by the condition of the sidewalk in question. You must also demonstrate that the sidewalk was unreasonably dangerous and that the property owner was aware of it or should have been aware of it. You could trip over a sidewalk due to ice on its surface or broken or cracked sections and injure yourself as a result of the fall.
However, proving negligence or establishing liability in sidewalk accidents can be difficult; hiring a sidewalk accident lawyer is your best chance of establishing a serious personal injury case and receiving maximum compensation.
Negligence in Sidewalk Accidents
It is critical to understand that if a sidewalk accident occurs on his or her property, the business or property owner is not automatically liable. To receive fair compensation, victims of sidewalk accidents must demonstrate negligence on the property owner’s part.
So, what makes a New York City sidewalk accident lawsuit stand out? The sidewalk must be in an unreasonably dangerous condition. You must also demonstrate that the property manager or owner was aware of the unsafe sidewalk and did nothing to address it, for example, by conducting repairs. If the ice had accumulated on the sidewalk, the property owner should have cleaned it up to make it safe.
In a nutshell, you must demonstrate that you fell and were injured as a result of a defective sidewalk and that the owner was fully aware of the unsafe condition but chose to do nothing about it.
Causes of Sidewalk-Related Injuries in New York City
Fall accidents can cause serious injury and may occur if property owners fail to properly maintain sidewalks due to a variety of sidewalk defects, which include:
- Cracks: cracked or broken sidewalks are most commonly caused by weather changes, particularly when temperatures change from cold to warm. Other factors contributing to these cracks include age and natural phenomena such as tree roots.
- Slippery Surfaces: Ice or rain can cause surfaces to be slippery or slick.
- Debris: natural debris and trash can cause you to trip and fall on the sidewalk.
- Loose bricks: Over time, sidewalk bricks may wear and become raised and loose.
- Unevenness: You can also fall due to uneven pavement or sidewalks, which may be caused by upheaval due to the growth of roots or weather shifts.
- Obstructions: overgrown trees or shrubs can make the sidewalk impassable, forcing pedestrians to walk through a potentially hazardous pathway.
Defective or broken sidewalk accidents can cause sidewalk accident victims different types of injuries, such as sprains, bruises, spine damage, lacerations, broken bones, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Sidewalk Injuries?
The liability may fall on the property owner if you’re a victim and have sustained serious injuries due to a sidewalk accident.
Rental, Home, And Business Property Owners
Property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Debris removal, repairing cracked or broken sidewalks, repairing uneven pavements or raised slabs, draining water, and even cleaning the sidewalks are all part of the maintenance responsibilities.
If the sidewalk is defective, the NYC authority may issue a warning to the property owner, failing which a fine may be issued. The authorities intend to make all New York City sidewalks safe.
If you were injured in a fall on public property or a road owned by the government, you might be able to hold the local government liable. Government entities are required to maintain sidewalks in a safe and clean condition.
These government entities, like private property owners, should be responsible and ensure that sidewalks on public property or roads are safe. However, because proving the government’s responsibility can be difficult, you should hire an experienced attorney.
Suing the City of New York
If the city of New York is responsible for your sidewalk accident, an experienced attorney can help you prepare your case and sue the city. You will be required to prepare a prior written notice of your claim against New York City, and you have a strict 90-day window to file your claim. This “Notice of Claim” contains information such as when, where, and how your sidewalk fall accident occurred. Also, it explains why you, as an injured party, believe NYC is at fault.
You must provide evidence to prove the property owner or the government was negligent in your personal injury claims. The following are critical aspects to consider when gathering evidence:
- Photos: Photos are essential for proving your sidewalk accident case. Furthermore, the condition of the sidewalk can be altered immediately following your accident. Take photos of the condition of the sidewalk and the position you were in when you fell or were injured in an accident.
- Personal statement: prepare a personal statement detailing what happened at the scene of the accident, the condition of the sidewalk, the time, location, and date.
- Witness statements: a statement (s) from a witness (s) is very important because it proves liability. Their statements will also describe what happened and provide the cause of your injury. If you’re suing the government, consider gathering complaints from previous victims to strengthen your case.
- You should seek medical treatment after sidewalk accidents. Medical records, bills, and receipts for other medical expenses: gather all the receipts, bills, and records you received for your medical treatment. Also, include out-of-pocket medical equipment and supplies.
- Proof of pain and suffering and lost wages: get written proof showing lost wages and your diminished quality of life.
Effective Sidewalk Accident Lawyer Services in Brooklyn, New York
Our sidewalk accident lawyers at Ross & Hill are highly experienced, friendly, and dedicated. We will provide you with a free consultation about your case. As our client, you will only pay legal fees if you win your case, whether you are suing a negligent property owner or a government agency (or entity).
We will guide you through the entire process, provide you with all the necessary information, and ensure that all of your interests are protected. We will collect all relevant evidence and build a strong case to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your claim. Consider our personal injury law firm to successfully handle your Brooklyn, New York, sidewalk accident case. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.