Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.
"Quality Service With
My Personal Attention"
For a Free Consultation Call Now 1-800-634-8144
Your Injury May Entitle You to a Large Monetary Award
No Fees Unless We Obtain a Settlement or Verdict on Your Behalf
Call Today to Schedule a Free Confidential Consultation

What Are the Common Causes of Sidewalk Accidents in New York City?

sidewalk accident

New York City is the biggest, busiest and most crowded city in the United States. Nowhere else in the country are sidewalks traversed as much as in the Big Apple. A tragic by-product of so much sidewalk use is that sidewalk accidents are unfortunately common, often leading to serious injuries. Below we look at the most common causes of sidewalks, which is crucial to know as much for accident prevention as for seeking legal recourse after a slip and fall or trip and fall results in serious harm. If you’ve been hurt in a sidewalk accident in NYC, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., to speak with a skilled and experienced New York sidewalk accident lawyer.

Poorly Maintained Sidewalks

One of the leading causes of sidewalk accidents is poor maintenance. The city’s sidewalks can suffer from various issues, including:

  • Cracks and Uneven Surfaces: Weather conditions, tree roots, and general wear and tear can lead to cracks and uneven surfaces, posing tripping hazards.
  • Broken or Missing Pavement: Segments of sidewalk can break away or become loose, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians.
  • Debris and Obstructions: Construction debris, litter, and other obstructions left on the sidewalk can cause pedestrians to trip and fall.

Generally speaking, property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their premises, but in some instances the city assumes responsibility. Failure to maintain sidewalks properly can result in liability for accidents that occur due to negligence, but identifying the proper party and taking the right steps to hold them accountable requires knowledge of the law and legal procedures that apply to New York City sidewalks abutting different types of properties.

Weather Conditions

New York City’s weather can be unpredictable, with icy winters and rainy springs contributing to hazardous sidewalk conditions. Common weather-related causes of sidewalk accidents include:

  • Ice and Snow: During winter, ice and snow accumulation can make sidewalks slippery. If property owners fail to clear these hazards promptly, pedestrians are at risk of slipping and falling.
  • Wet Leaves: In the fall, wet leaves can create slick surfaces, increasing the risk of slips and falls.

Proper maintenance, such as timely shoveling and salting during the winter, is crucial in preventing these accidents. Here again, identifying the applicable liable party is crucial, as is understanding the applicability of peculiar New York laws such as the “storm in progress” doctrine.

Construction and Maintenance Work

The constant construction and maintenance work throughout NYC often lead to sidewalk hazards. Common issues include:

  • Uneven Temporary Surfaces: Construction zones may have uneven temporary surfaces that pose tripping hazards.
  • Inadequate Signage: Without proper warning signs, pedestrians might not be aware of ongoing work or changes in the sidewalk’s condition.
  • Open Trenches and Holes: Unmarked or poorly barricaded trenches and holes can cause severe injuries if pedestrians fall into them.
  • Sidewalk Sheds: These temporary structures sometimes remain in place for years, long after they are needed. Meanwhile, their presence can shunt pedestrians off the sidewalk and into the street, raising the risk of pedestrians getting hit by cars and buses.

Contractors and property owners must ensure that construction areas are safely managed and well-marked to prevent accidents.

Tree Roots and Vegetation

Tree roots growing beneath sidewalks can lift and crack the pavement, creating uneven surfaces. Additionally, overgrown vegetation can obscure the sidewalk, making it difficult for pedestrians to see potential hazards. Regular maintenance and proper planning during tree planting can help mitigate these risks.

Insufficient Lighting

Poor lighting can significantly increase the risk of sidewalk accidents, particularly during the evening and at night. Pedestrians may not be able to see obstacles or uneven surfaces, leading to trips and falls. Ensuring adequate street lighting is essential for pedestrian safety.

Legal Recourse for Sidewalk Accident Victims

If you or a loved one has been injured in a sidewalk accident in New York City, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Property owners, including the city, may be held liable for injuries caused by their negligence in maintaining the sidewalk. To establish liability, you must prove that:

  1. The property owner (or city) was responsible for the sidewalk’s maintenance.
  2. The responsible party was aware or should have been aware of the hazardous condition.
  3. The responsible party failed to take reasonable steps to fix the condition.
  4. This failure directly caused your injuries.

At Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., we handle personal injury cases every day, including sidewalk accidents. Our experienced team can help you navigate the complexities of your case, gather necessary evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., After a Sidewalk Accident in New York

If you’ve been injured in a sidewalk accident in New York, don’t hesitate to call Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. at 212-889-9362 for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the justice and compensation you need to recover. Call us today to learn more about how we can assist you in your NYC sidewalk accident case.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2023 - 2024 Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ website design by NextClient.com.