New York City contains many hazard-free sidewalks and pathways for residents and consumers to use. Some property owners take public safety to heart and make necessary repairs to sidewalks. Unfortunately, many other property owners ignore the hazards on their premises.
When people suffer injuries on a hazardous sidewalk, they typically do not know who is responsible and legally liable for their harm. New York City is one of the few U.S. municipalities that defines such liability in clear terms.
What sidewalk hazards are common in New York?
Without regular care and maintenance, sidewalks can deteriorate quickly. As you might imagine, this can lead to several potential trip-and-fall dangers. Examples include:
- Sidewalk collapse
- Uneven or broken flags (sidewalk panels)
- Improperly sloping sidewalk flags
- Vertical differences in adjacent flags
- Missing sidewalk flags
- Improper patchwork
- Sidewalk flag upheaval or displacement
- Installed hardware not flush with the pavement
- Cracks or holes
- Hollow spots beneath sidewalk flags
If unaddressed, the issues above will likely continue to cause concrete deterioration, putting the health and wellbeing of the public in jeopardy.
Is the property owner responsible for sidewalk injuries?
According to New York City administrative code, it is typically the responsibility of property owners to maintain sidewalks adjacent to their premises. A few of the injuries that can occur on defective sidewalks include:
- Broken bones
- Head or brain trauma
- Spinal cord damage
- Deep lacerations
It is also possible for death to occur, especially when a trip-and-fall results in undetected brain injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe personal injury due to a defective sidewalk, you have the right to seek compensation for your harm. We recommend learning more about the state laws that govern personal injury and premises liability claims. Improving your knowledge of the law can help you determine if you qualify for a legal remedy.