Walking down the street should not be dangerous for New Yorkers. Unfortunately, unsafe sidewalk conditions frequently make it so, and can cause serious injuries.
If you’ve been hurt by a slip or trip and fall on debris, an uneven slab, sewer grate or other hazardous condition on the sidewalk you may be eligible for compensation.
The New York City sidewalk injury lawyers at Jacob D. Fucshberg Law Firm have decades of experience helping pedestrians just like you get the compensation they deserve after a sidewalk accident.
We know that dealing with an injury can be difficult. Let our family help yours. Our injury attorneys will work hard to get you the justice you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today and let us help you get started on your road to recovery.
Call 212-869-3500 today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.
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How a NYC sidewalk accident lawyer at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm can help
After a trip or fall sidewalk accident, it’s important to notify the property owner, seek medical attention, and contact an experienced New York slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and file a notice of claim within the statute of limitations.
At the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm, our premises liability lawyers understand the mechanics of serious injuries caused by broken or dangerous sidewalk conditions and the common legal issues insurance companies or municipalities will argue to avoid paying your medical bills and other liability claim damages.
In order to win a personal injury case, or jury verdict, our sidewalk accident lawyers must be able to prove that the property owner was negligent for the unreasonably unsafe sidewalk condition.
During your case review, our a personal injury lawyer at our firm will analyze the circumstances of your injury claim and recommend the best next steps.
Our trial lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to give your case the level of individual attention it deserves, and will provide you and your family the support you deserve.
Who is responsible for the sidewalk in New York City?
According to Section 7-210 of the New York City Administrative Code, it is the duty of the property owner to maintain a sidewalk that abuts their property in a reasonably safe condition.
This means if you fall and are injured on the sidewalk of a property, New York law states that the owner is liable for your resulting injury because of the sidewalk’s defective condition.
The one exception to this rule is for sidewalks that abut one, two, or three-family residential homes where the owner lives. In this case, the City of New York is responsible to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition and for any liability resulting from your injury.
Common types of sidewalk injuries in NYC
According to the NYC DOT, New York City has over 12,000 of sidewalks that should be even, free of defects, and debris and provide safe surfaces to walk, run, and bike. However, sidewalk injuries occur frequently and result in thousands of injury claims every year in New York City.
Sidewalk defects, collapsed sidewalks, trip hazards, improper slopes, patchwork and other issues that should have been repaired are the cause of many serious injuries. Here are some of the most common types of injuries that are sustained in sidewalk accidents in NYC:
- Bone fractures: a fracture is a break or a crack in the bone. It occurs when the force exerted on the bone is stronger than it can handle. The most common fracture sites are the wrist, ankle, and hip.
- Sprains and strains: a sprain is the overstretching or tearing of ligaments. A strain is the overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. Sprains commonly occur in the ankle joint while strains commonly occur in the hamstring muscle and the lower back.
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions: any blow to the head that affects the brain is considered a brain injury. A concussion is a mild version of a traumatic brain injury but severe traumatic brain injuries can lead to unconsciousness, coma, or death.
- Spinal cord injuries: spinal cord injuries include impacts that cause damage to the spinal cord or its nerves. These types of injuries can cause changes in sensation and strength.
- Trimalleolar and Bimalleolar ankle fractures: a bimalleolar ankle fracture involves two parts of the ankle, the inner and the outer. A trimalleolar ankle fracture involves three parts of the ankle, the inner, outer, and rear.
- FOOSH (fall on an outstretched hand) injuries: FOOSH injuries are the most common hand and wrist injuries. These types of injuries can also result in elbow and shoulder fractures as well.
Common causes of sidewalk injuries in New York City
A defective sidewalk can easily cause injuries to pedestrians. Here are some of the most common causes according to the New York Department of Transportation:
- Large cracks: Cracks in sidewalks occur over time from wear and tear as well as exposure to weather conditions. A crack can develop that is large enough and wide enough for your foot to get caught and cause you to fall resulting in injury.
- Potholes or crumbled areas: Potholes or crumbled areas can result from physical impacts or weather exposure. Your foot can get caught in a pothole or the crumbled area could give way under your foot as you step on it causing you to lose balance and fall.
- Settling of a section of the walkway: the settling of concrete is common over time, but it can result in uneven pavement. This could create an unexpected imbalance as you walk over it resulting in a damaging fall.
- Buckling of pavement from water intrusion or heat: If moisture gets under the pavement through a crack, it could expand and contract after repeated freeze/thaw cycles. The resulting damage could cause the pavement to buckle and you to trip over it as you walk.
- Sinking pavement slabs: poor construction or water intrusion can cause pavement slabs to sink over time. The dip in this section of the sidewalk is not easy for a pedestrian to navigate and can easily cause you to lose your balance and fall.
- Un-repaired crevices: similar to a crack in the sidewalk, an un-repaired crevice provides dangerous conditions for part or all of your shoe to get caught in it. That’s all you need to trip and fall.
- Fallen objects or debris: a tree branch could fall onto the sidewalk or a garbage can could tip over releasing debris where you are walking. Any of these can cause a tripping hazard that will make you fall.
- Tree roots uplifting slabs: over time, tree roots grow and spread under sidewalk slabs. The roots are strong enough to lift the slabs creating a situation where one slab is higher than the rest. It’s easy to trip and fall in a situation like this.
What should I do after a sidewalk accident in NYC?
If you are involved in a sidewalk accident, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately. If necessary, call for an ambulance.
- Get a medical opinion and document all medical treatments. When speaking to medical providers, be accurate in your description of what happened, but not too detailed. Too much detail can be misconstrued in a medical record.
- Take photos or a video of the area of the fall if possible.
- Try to get contact information from any witnesses.
- Reach out to a personal injury attorney to understand your legal options.
Get a free consultation with an experienced New York City sidewalk accident attorney today
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious sidewalk injury due to a defective sidewalk, broken sidewalk, trip and fall, vehicle collision, car accident, or other sidewalk accident, let our family help yours.
With over 40 years of experience helping accident victims throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Greater New York City, the NYC sidewalk injury attorneys at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm have the knowledge and reputation you need to get justice.
We can help when the unimaginable happens.
Call 212-869-3500 today or contact us online for a free case review.