Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York Sidewalk Accident Litigation. Six of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. Five of our attorneys have been included in Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is listed among the Best Lawyers in the State of New York and is listed among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.Our Attorneys Have Handled Countless Successful Cases for Individuals Who Have Suffered Injuries in Sidewalk Accidents
When New York City sidewalks are unmaintained, they pose a serious threat to all of the residents of that neighborhood. Individuals you have suffered serious injuries following a trip and fall on a New York City sidewalk may face significant economic hardships, such as lost wages or high medical bills uncovered by insurance. As a result, residents who have suffered injuries in a fall on an unmaintained sidewalk may be entitled to recoup compensation for any damages incurred. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York City sidewalk fall lawyers have experience defending the rights of individuals who have been injured in trip-and-fall accidents. We have seen first-hand the unnecessary hardships that an un-maintained sidewalk can inflict on residents of New York City. As a result, we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation in court for all of our injured clients.
Have you fallen on a sidewalk and suffered a serious injury? Was the area where the fall occurred negligently maintained? If so, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. For a free, no obligation, review of your legal options, call 212.406.1700 or contact us online. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will review your claim to see how our personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.What Constitutes a Negligently Maintained Sidewalk
Pursuant to the New York City Administrative Code it is the duty of the owner of real property adjacent to any sidewalk to ensure it is kept in a reasonably safe condition. The failure to reasonably maintain a sidewalk can leave the owner of the adjacent property liable for any injury that occurs due to the sidewalk's deteriorating condition. A failure to maintain a sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition includes but is not limited to:
- The negligent failure to properly install a sidewalk near the property
- The negligent failure to reconstruct a walkway once it becomes defective or unstable
- Negligently failing to repave sidewalks that are cracked
- Failure to repair any defects
- Not replacing defective sidewalk flags
- Failure to remove snow, ice, dirt or other material from the sidewalk.
More specific examples of dangerous and unsafe sidewalk defects, as defined by the New York City Administrative Code, include but are not limited to the following:
- Where one or more sidewalk flags is missing or where the sidewalk was never built;
- Where one or more sidewalk flags are cracked to such an extent that one or more pieces are loose or can be readily removed;
- An undermined sidewalk flag below which there is a visible void or a loose sidewalk flag that rocks or seesaws;
- A trip hazard, where the vertical differential between adjacent sidewalk flags is greater than or equal to one half inch or where the sidewalk contains one or more surface defects of one inch or greater in all horizontal directions and is one half inch or more in depth;
- Has an improper slope that does not provide for adequate drainage of water towards the curb and, thus, pools and retains water;
- Contains hardware defects which mean hardware or other appurtenances that are not flush within one half inch of the surface or cellar doors that deflect greater than one inch when walked on, are not skid resistant or are otherwise in a dangerous or unsafe condition;
- Has a defect involving the structural integrity of the sidewalk such as a crack between two joints;
- Is in non-compliance of New York City Department of Transportation specifications for sidewalk construction;
- Where patchwork is done to the sidewalk that is less than full-depth repairs to all or part of the surface area of broken, cracked or chipped flags; and where the sidewalk is partially or wholly constructed with asphalt or other unapproved non-concrete material.
In New York City, which includes the five boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, the adjacent or abutting land owner is responsible for maintaining sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition and free of the substantial defects described above. The care and maintenance of New York City sidewalks that are adjacent to commercial property is the responsibility of the real land owner.This includes but is not limited to sidewalks in New York City that abut and are located adjacent to:
- Office buildings such as single-tenant properties
- Small professional buildings
- Medical facilities including doctors' offices, urgent care centers, radiology facilities and hospitals
- Retail stores
- Banks and financial institutions
- Strip malls
- Shopping centers
- Parking lots
- Gas stations
- Vacant and unimproved land
- Multi-family residential dwellings such as apartment complexes, high-rise apartment buildings and homes used and designated as four family residences
If you are injured as a result of a dangerous, defective and unsafe sidewalk that is located adjacent to these kinds of properties, the abutting real property owner is the responsible party.The Issue of Notice in Sidewalk Slip, Trip, and Fall Cases
In order to be successful in a claim or lawsuit against an abutting property owner for their failure to maintain a sidewalk it is necessary to prove that the sidewalk was not reasonably safe. That is, if the sidewalk was broken with pieces missing; cracked with depressions; raised between flagstones causing a trip hazard; and/or contained any of the enumerated substantial defects as listed in the New York City Administrative Code, and as indicated above, it is considered dangerous, defective and unsafe. In order to be successful it is also necessary to prove that the owner of the property abutting the defective sidewalk either created the dangerous and unsafe sidewalk condition or had actual or constructive notice of it before the accident. Actual notice is established by simply proving that the owner knew of the dangerous and unsafe nature of the sidewalk abutting his property before the accident. Constructive notice is established by proving that the owner, in the use of reasonable care, knew or should have known of the dangerous and unsafe nature of the sidewalk abutting his property yet failed to correct the defect or take other precautions such as providing a safeguard or warning prior to an accident occurring.The City of New York Can Also be Liable in Sidewalk Fall Cases
Often times the City of New York, as opposed to an abutting real property owner, is the responsible entity for maintaining and keeping sidewalks in good and safe repair throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The City of New York is responsible for maintaining sidewalks located adjacent to a one, two or three family residential property that is either entirely or partly owner occupied, used exclusively for residential purposes, and contains three or less apartment units. Additionally for the City of New York to be liable, these residential buildings can serve no commercial purpose whatsoever. If all of the aforementioned are true, than it is the city's responsibility to properly maintain the adjacent sidewalks. Individuals who have suffered an injury slipping and falling on a walkway next to a building that meets the aforementioned residential requirements may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the city for any monetary damages they may have suffered.
In order to be successful in a claim or lawsuit against The City of New York for their failure to maintain a sidewalk it is also necessary to prove that the sidewalk was not reasonably safe. As mentioned earlier, if the sidewalk was broken, cracked, depressed, improperly sloped, and/or raised causing a trip hazard; and/or contained any of the enumerated substantial defects as listed in the New York City Administrative Code, it is considered dangerous, defective and unsafe. In order to be successful in a case against the City of New York for their failure to properly maintain a sidewalk it is also necessary to prove that the defect or dangerous condition that caused your accident was created by the City of New York or that they had received actual written notice of the defective nature of the sidewalk before the accident occurred. A law firm specializing in New York City sidewalk cases can best determine whether or not the City of New York was properly put on written notice of the dangerous condition that caused your accident.Having an Experienced Attorney is Essential to Winning Your Sidewalk Case
Following an accident that occurred on a New York City sidewalk it is very important to contact a law firm that specializes in New York City sidewalk fall cases as soon as possible. If the City of New York is determined to be the entity responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, the law requires that they be put on notice of your accident within ninety (90) days of its occurrence. The law requires that a document called a Notice of Claim be filed with the City of New York. The Notice of Claim must be in writing, sworn to or by or on behalf of the individual bringing the claim, and shall set forth (1) his name, address and attorney; (2) the nature of the claim or accident; (3) the time when, the place where, and the manner in which the claim or accident arose; and (4) the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained. The filing of a timely Notice of Claim is a condition precedent to bringing or filing a lawsuit against the City of New York. The failure to correctly and timely file a Notice of Claim can be devastating to your case and bar you from bringing a lawsuit against the City of New York for their failure to properly and safely maintain sidewalk which abuts property that is an owner occupied one, two or three family home, used exclusively for residential purposes.Do Not Hesitate to Hire a New York Premises Liability Attorney
Due to the statute of limitations, individuals who have been injured in a sidewalk fall should not hesitate to contact an experienced premises liability attorney. The statute of limitation is a law specifying the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit following an injury. Failure to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires can result in victims being forever barred from the compensation they may be entitled. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys understand the importance of filing a claim before the statute of limitations expires. As a result, we will handle all aspects of the lawsuit process to ensure our client's claim gets filed on time.
If you have fallen and suffered an injury due to an unmaintained sidewalk, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. For a free consultation with Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, call 212.406.1700 or fill out our online case review form.