New York City is a very active place where people are constantly hustling and bustling as they navigate their way through the crowded streets. The sidewalks are generally full at any given time of the day with tourists, commuters, and residents. With this being the case, slip and fall accidents are much more common than many may realize.
Even the most cautious pedestrians are at risk of a fall when there are hazardous sidewalk conditions that couldn’t have been avoided. Under these circumstances, a slip and fall can result in some pretty serious injuries, which often leaves the injured party wondering if someone else could be legally responsible.
Who Might Be Liable?
• Residential and Commercial Properties: New York law makes it clear that residential and commercial property owners are required to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses “in a reasonably safe condition.” This means they have a certain degree of responsibility when it comes to maintaining their sidewalks to help prevent dangerous conditions that could lead to an injury. This involves duties such as shoveling snow and ice, tending to uneven or broken areas of pavement, fixing loose bricks, and watching out for raised grating.
• City Sidewalk: There are also situations where a slip and fall might occur on a public sidewalk, which would fall into the hands of the city. These cases can be especially complicated, as municipalities are held to different standards of responsibility when it comes to sidewalk maintenance.
Conditions For a New York Slip and Fall Case
To prove that another party should be held liable for a slip and fall incident and pay for the resulting damages, there must be evidence of negligence. This would mean the property owner knew the sidewalk was damaged or unsafe, whether they were the cause of the problem themselves or not, but failed to rectify it in any way.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured on a New York Sidewalk
If you experience a slip and fall in New York, it’s important to get the medical attention you need, but it’s also essential to document the exact details of what happened as best you can so you are able to refer back to them at a later date. Get photos of the sidewalk and the hazardous condition that caused you to fall, and write down the contact information of any witnesses that happen to be around that can account for what transpired.