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Who Is Liable for Injuries in a New York City Sidewalk Accident?

NY Sidewalk Accidents

In New York City, the responsibility for maintaining sidewalks and ensuring pedestrian safety is a complex issue that often raises questions about liability in the event of an accident. When it comes to sidewalk accidents, determining who is liable for injuries is a crucial early step in pursuing compensation. Below you’ll find an overview of the key factors that determine liability in sidewalk accidents in New York City. If you’ve been hurt in a trip and fall, slip and fall, or other accident on a New York City sidewalk, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., for help from a skilled and knowledgeable New York personal injury lawyer.

Property Ownership

In New York City, property owners are generally responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. This includes keeping the sidewalk free of hazards such as snow, ice, and debris. If an accident occurs due to a dangerous condition on a sidewalk, the property owner may be held liable for any resulting injuries.

Municipal Liability

While property owners are responsible for sidewalk maintenance, the City of New York also plays a role in sidewalk safety. The city is responsible for maintaining sidewalks at certain types of properties, such as government buildings, and may be held liable for injuries caused by defects in these areas.

In addition, section 7-21- of the NYC Administrative Code requires the City to take responsibility for sidewalks that abut one, two, and three-family homes that are owner-occupied (at least in part) and used exclusively for residential purposes.

Finally, the City could also be responsible for sidewalk accidents that would otherwise be the responsibility of the adjacent landowner when the City caused or created the defect. For example, if the City damaged the sidewalk while performing repairs, it could be liable for a trip and fall on the hazard City workers created.

Prior Notice

Another complex issue in sidewalk accident liability involves prior notice. After identifying the proper responsible party, you must still be able to show that they either created the danger, knew about it, or should have known about it, yet failed to correct it in a reasonable time. Many villages outside of New York City require actual prior written notice before a municipality can be held liable for an injury caused by a sidewalk defect unless the municipality created the defect or the property was subject to special use.

Comparative Negligence

The liability question is still not fully answered yet. New York follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that if the injured party is found to have contributed to their injuries, their compensation may be reduced proportionally. For example, if a pedestrian was texting and not paying attention to where they were walking at the time of the accident, they may be found partially at fault. If the responsible party or their insurance company is trying to say you are even partially to blame, you’ll need legal assistance to build a fact-based case that refutes those arguments and holds the liable party fully accountable for the harm they’ve caused.

How an Attorney Can Help

Navigating the complexities of sidewalk accident liability in New York City can be challenging. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If necessary, they can also represent you in court to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It is well-established that people who try to settle personal injury claims on their own don’t receive as much as injury victims represented by a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney.

If you’ve been injured in a sidewalk accident in New York City, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance. Call Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., today at 212-889-9362 for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.

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