New York City Broken Sidewalk Accidents

Have you suffered an injury due to tripping and falling on a New York City sidewalk?

If a defect on a sidewalk is known, and the party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk fails to fix it, they may be liable for your injuries in a trip and fall accident. 

Depending on how and where your broken sidewalk accident occurred, you may have a claim for compensation against a business owner, property owner, or the City of New York.

Damages for injuries in a premises liability claim may include medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. To discuss your case with an experienced NYC broken sidewalks accident lawyer, contact Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. today. 

Why You Need a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer If You’ve Been Injured Because of a Broken Sidewalk 

Without an attorney, a property owner or government agency will likely deny your claim and place the burden of proving your injuries and their liability on you, the injured victim. Trip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, but providing liability can be challenging, and victims are often blamed for their injuries. 

slip and fall

An experienced New York slip and fall accident lawyer who understands the mechanics of falls and legal issues of broken sidewalk accidents can help you pursue damages in a premises liability claim. At Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. today, we work with some of the best expert witnesses and medical specialists to demonstrate liability and calculate damages. 

Who is Responsible for Maintaining New York City Sidewalks? 

New York City has a population of more than 8 million people, and 12,750 miles of sidewalks – many packed full of pedestrians. That’s 67.3 million feet, or 22.4 million yards, of sidewalks. The sidewalks in New York City could stretch from NYC to Los Angeles and back, two times. 

The NYC Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining sidewalks on city-owned property and in residential neighborhoods. They replace more than 2 million square feet of sidewalk each year, but according to the NYC DOT, this is less than 1% of the city’s sidewalks. The New York City Administrative Code places the responsibility of maintaining sidewalks “in a reasonably safe condition” – on property owners. Unfortunately, many property owners fail to keep up with these obligations. 

If you know of a broken sidewalk, defect, or safety issue, NYC’s 311 Portal is the place to go to report issues with sidewalks, and make service requests. 

Property Owner Liability for New York City Broken Sidewalk Accidents

A claim for a broken sidewalk accident will depend on where the accident occurred, and who was responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in that location. Any party responsible for maintaining a sidewalk may be liable for injuries sustained in a broken sidewalk fall.

This might include: 

  • Business owners 
  • Commercial property owners 
  • Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, or other houses of worship. 
  • Multi-family property owners 
  • Government agencies. 

Property owners have specific responsibilities to maintain and repair sidewalks. Liability for broken sidewalk injuries could be based on failure to repair, or improper or substandard repair. If the injury occurred on city-owned property, the city may be liable. In any case, time is of the essence following a broken sidewalk accident. You may have as little as 90 days to file notice of your claim if you are bringing a claim against a government entity. 

Our NYC premises liability lawyers can help you determine who’s responsible for your broken sidewalk accident and pursue damages on your behalf. Call to learn more today.

Sidewalk Defects and Hazards in New York

large crack

Lawsuits and personal injury claims for accidents on broken sidewalks, in parking lots, and on outdoor walking surfaces falls under premises liability law. In NYC, sidewalks are often extremely congested, which may prevent pedestrians from noticing defects. Some of the dangerous sidewalk conditions which may contribute to trips, falls, and serious injuries include: 

  • Large cracks 
  • Potholes or crumbled areas 
  • Settling of a section of walkway
  • Buckling of pavement from water intrusion or heat
  • Sinking pavement slabs 
  • Unrepaired crevices 
  • Fallen objects or debris 
  • Tree roots uplifting slabs. 

Not every crack or bump in a sidewalk is a defect. After an accident, a business or property owner, or public entity responsible for the sidewalk’s maintenance, will often move swiftly to repair or fix the defect. While this may prevent future occurrences, it can destroy your chance of a claim. Documentation and preservation of evidence may be critical to a successful claim. 

Sidewalk Falls Cause Serious Injuries 

bones fractures

While much is being done in NYC to improve pedestrian safety at traffic signals, in crosswalks, and on streets, improvements in the 3 E’s (engineering, enforcement, and education) do nothing to protect pedestrians from the deadly hazards on walkways and sidewalks. When people trip and fall on hard cement sidewalks, hazards and defects may contribute to: 

Elderly adults are extremely vulnerable to serious injury in a fall. As they age, they may need assistance to stay healthy and mobile. 

Older adults (ages 65 and older) make up 13% of NYCs population. According to data released by NYC in 2019, falls among older adults accounted for 289 deaths, 30,492 emergency room visits, at 16,661 hospitalizations in 2016 (the most recent year available. 

Get a Free Consultation with a New York City Broken Sidewalk Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trip and fall accident on a broken sidewalk in NYC, contact Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights. Our NYC broken sidewalk accident attorneys offer a free consultation to review your potential claim and answer your questions. If we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.