Homeowners and business owners with public sidewalks running in front of their properties are required by law to keep the walkways free of ice and snow, and otherwise maintain the sidewalks in a way to prevent injuries to the public. Sidewalk accidents are typically trip and fall accidents which can result in serious musculoskeletal injuries involving bones, ligaments and tendons. During winter, injuries commonly occur when people slip and fall on snow or ice that was not properly removed from walkways.
Who Is Responsible for My Injury?
Liable parties for sidewalk accidents can vary from case to case, and can include:
- Municipal liability: If your sidewalk accident occurred on city property or upon a sidewalk fronting an owner occupied one or two family home, you must overcome a number of legal hurdles to bring a claim against the City of New York. You also must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident.
- Private party: In most but not in all cases, private property owners are liable for the accidents taking place on sidewalks that face their property.
- Utility companies: If a utility company (power, telephone, gas, cable, water, etc.) negligently performed sidewalk construction, repairs or demolition, which resulted in an accident, they utility company may be held liable for damages.
What to Do After Suffering a Sidewalk Slip-and-Fall Injury
If you are injured while using a sidewalk on a residential, public or business property, you can count on the property owner's insurance company to do everything possible to deny liability. There are things you can do to prevent your premises liability claim from becoming your word against the insurance company's.
- If you know you are injured, don't just brush yourself off and walk away.
- Call the police and make sure an accurate accident report is recorded.
- Make sure the property owner receives word of the accident and injury.
- Write down every detail of the accident and gather contact information from any eyewitnesses who may have been present.
- Obtain digital photographs of the accident scene as soon as possible to document the condition that caused your accident.
- See a doctor immediately and follow the doctor's medical treatment precisely.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report as soon as possible.
- Make arrangements for a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- DO NOT engage in negotiating a settlement with the property owner or their insurance company.
I have a successful record of success in New York premises liability cases, such as:
- Sidewalk injuries
- Falls on snow and ice
- Parking lot and ramp injuries
- Retail store injuries
- Injuries from assault resulting from negligent security
- Inadequate lighting
- Improper guardrails
- Stairwell accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Playground, park and recreation accidents
If you were injured after slipping and falling on a sidewalk, please contact The Maurer Law Firm online or call 845-896-5295 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, aggressive Fishkill and greater Poughkeepsie lawyer Ira M. Maurer.