Accidents on a Sidewalk – Who is Responsible and What to Do?

Accidents on a Sidewalk – Who is Responsible and What to Do?

In a busy city like New York, sidewalks are the whole and soul of pedestrians. Bustling streets, lots of traffic coupled with the fast pace of city life keeps side-walks crowded day and night. However, falls on sidewalks have also become a common cause of accidents, especially slip and fall. In fact, in some cases, the injuries can be so grave that they require long-term medical attention or can even be fatal, for example, a backward fall can very well lead to a traumatic brain injury or a hip fracture. Top injury lawyers across New York have handled various cases of negligence which has led to accidents on the sidewalk. 

But how do injuries on the sidewalk even occur? Some of the common reasons are: 

  1. Cracks on the sidewalk
  2. Broken or uneven sidewalk
  3. Loose bricks in the sidewalk
  4. Icy sidewalk
  5. Grating on the sidewalk
  6. Incomplete pavement / ongoing construction work on the sidewalk without adequate warning for the pedestrian 

But if you fall prey to one or more of the above is it really your fault? No, these accidents could have been caused due to someone’s negligence and you deserve fair compensation. However, it is important to prove negligence of the party responsible to take care of the sidewalk in terms of maintenance, etc. While it may seem that the city administration is responsible in case of such an accident but it is important to note that New York signed two bills into law a few years ago that reduce the city’s liability for someone’s injuries occurring from a defective or poorly maintained sidewalk and place that responsibility upon the owner.

Hence, in New York, property owners, residential and commercial, are responsible to maintain the sidewalks in front of their houses and/or businesses to ensure that the sidewalks are safe. This refers to fixing all kinds of damages – icy sidewalks, loose bricks, etc. Therefore, in case someone falls, the responsibility lies on the property owner and will be held accountable. But they will only be held accountable if they knew about the potential risk and did not address it. But proving it can be difficult. Hire a personal injury attorney to help you prove negligence. But here’s what you should when you get injured: 

  1. Get medical attention – Do not delay going to the emergency room even if the injury seems minor at the time. It is best to get the doctor to give you a check-up to ensure there are no internal injuries. Importantly, keep the medical bills, etc. safe because your injury lawyer will need them while filing for compensation.
  2. Photographic evidence – If possible, photograph the surroundings, especially the area where you fell so that the damage can be visually seen by all parties involved. If you’ve been hurt, you can request someone to do it for you. But the sooner you collect photographs, the better. 
  3. Check for witnesses – If anyone was around at the time of your accident, request them for their cooperation and take their contact details. Their statement can become a strong piece of evidence for you to get the compensation you deserve.
  4. Document all expenses – While the injury may have caused a lot of medical expenses, there are other expenses as well that go unnoticed in compensation, for example, loss of income due to missing work, transportation expenses to visit the doctor, etc. It’ll help your personal injury attorney to account for all the expenses while filing for compensation. 

Lastly, don’t worry, let your injury lawyer do the needful for you and get you just and fair compensation for your injuries and trauma. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a sidewalk accident due to someone’s negligence, you need the top injury lawyers, contact Siler & Ingber today. Call us on 1-877-529-4343 or complete our online form on this page to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our consultation is free and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.

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