Being a pedestrian in the city can pose challenges due to the large number of broken or crumbling NYC sidewalks. If you’re injured after tripping and falling on a broken NYC sidewalk, you have the right to sue the party that is responsible for maintaining and repairing the walkway. If the City itself is the responsible party, the process of recovering damages will be more complex than for a trip and fall lawsuit brought against a private party.

An NYC Slip and Fall Attorney from Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. is available to explain that process and to assess your opportunity to recover damages to compensate you for your sidewalk slip and fall injuries. Our attorneys use their many decades’ experience to fight for the maximum available damages awards for our clients.

Identify the party that is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk where the trip and fall accident happened.

The New York City Administrative Code imposes a duty on commercial property owners to clear and maintain the sidewalks that are adjacent to their properties. If your trip and fall accident occurs near a privately-owned commercial building, that building’s owners or managers could be liable for your injuries and you will be entitled to pursue a negligence lawsuit against them. Your lawsuit against that party will succeed if you can demonstrate that:

  • The owner knew or should have known about the defect that caused your trip and fall accident but failed to make necessary repairs, and that
  • Your injuries are a direct and proximate result of the accident that the defect had caused.

The City and not a private party will be liable for your injuries if the broken or blocked sidewalk is on public property or is adjacent to a one-, two- or three-unit dwelling where the property owner lives in one of those dwellings. In every case, a New York trip and fall attorney can help an injured party determine whether to pursue damages from a private building owner or the City.

The injured party must also act quickly before the right to sue lapses.

The City must have prior knowledge or notice of a broken sidewalk before a trip and fall victim can recover damages.

Where the trip and fall accident happened on public property or near a private residence such that the City is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, the City’s administrative code places a burden on trip and fall accident victims to show that the City had prior written notice of the broken sidewalk or defective walkway that precipitated the accident.

A trip and fall accident attorney will send discovery requests to the City and seek information on other claims, surveys, construction records, and police reports that might have been filed for slip and fall accidents at the same site.

Generally, the longer a sidewalk has been broken, the more likely it is that the City will have received written notice of the defective condition.

Injured parties that seek damages from the City must provide written notice of their claim within 90 days after a broken sidewalk accident.

The City imposes a very short 90-day notice period for an accident victim to submit a notice of his or her claim where that claim is against the City rather than a private property owner.

The claim must include certain information to be valid, including the specific dollar amount that the accident victim seeks to recover. The victim then has one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit to recover trip and fall damages after providing this written notice.

These deadlines are substantially shorter than New York’s three-year statute of limitations for trip and fall lawsuits against private property owners. Given these short deadlines, an injured sidewalk trip and fall accident victim should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after he or she is injured. 

Call the New York Personal Injury Attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C.

If you are hurt in a trip and fall accident on a broken NYC sidewalk, your opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries will be improved when you retain the help of a law firm that has substantial experience in handling claims like yours against private property owners and the City.

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. has that experience and will fight to get you the largest available damages award. Seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries, then call our New York City offices for a complimentary assessment of your right to sue and the potential value of your case. All initial consultations are free.