Premises Liability FAQs
What happens if I am struck by a car while crossing the street, and the driver leaves the scene (hit and run) or is uninsured?
Under your uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company, even though you were a pedestrian and not driving your vehicle at the time of the accident. In fact, even if you do not own a vehicle, if another member of your household has an automobile insurance policy, that policy may cover your claim. Even if no one in the household owned a vehicle, you still may recover benefits from the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Program (MVAIC). Note that there are strict rules and short deadlines for reporting the accident and filing a claim.
Of course, you may also need to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure all your rights are protected and that every avenue is pursued to make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries.
What if I slip and fall on the job?
Any workplace accident should be immediately reported to protect your rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, however, there may be third party liability involved. For instance, if you were working off-site and the accident occurred on another’s unsafe premises, or if the floor was made slippery by a contracted cleaning crew, then you may have a negligence claim against the responsible party as well as a workers’ compensation claim. Our office handles personal injury negligence claims as well as workers’ compensation cases and can help make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
Who Owns the Sidewalk?
In New York City, the answer is not always clear. For instance, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk that adjoins its property, while the City is responsible for maintaining the curb. What happens when a person trips and falls when entering or leaving the street because the sidewalk and the curb are uneven? Was the curb or the sidewalk defective? Were they both in need of repair? These questions can be difficult to resolve, yet they are essential to the issue of liability. For instance, a recent case held that pedestrian ramps are the responsibility of the City, although most people may think of these ramps as belonging more to the sidewalk than to the curb.
Section 7-210 of the City of New York Administrative Code imposes tort liability on property owners who fail to maintain City-owned sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition. Private homeowners whose sidewalks are damaged by curbside trees may be eligible to have their sidewalks repaired, or they may need to repair them personally. Private homeowners may be issued a citation from the Department of Transportation regarding sidewalk damage, and if repairs are not commenced within 45 days of receiving a citation, DOT contractors may fix the sidewalk and bill the homeowner.
If you are injured in a sidewalk accident, be sure and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help determine the proper responsible party and file the appropriate claim to protect your rights to compensation.