Getting a Recovery for a Sidewalk Accident; Navigating the Crazy Quilt of New York City Law


Do you think that walking the broken and uneven sidewalks of New York is an obstacle course worthy of an Olympics competition?  A worse obstacle course awaits the injured person in seeking a recovery in a lawsuit.

If you have been injured due to a fall on a sidewalk, please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to letters@seitelman.com.

As we stated in a prior post, your recovery depends upon where you fall.

Consider the following:

Case 1:  You fall on a broken sidewalk in front of a single family home in Staten Island,  New York.

     

 The City is responsible for the sidewalk’s condition.  The adjoining property owner is not liable unless he had a special use (e.g., a driveway) or had made a faulty repair.  See our prior post.  If the City has no prior notice of the defect on a map, there is no recovery.

Case 2:  You fall in front of an apartment house at 710 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.  You fall due to an uneven block of cement which rises 2 inches higher than the next block.  

   

In this case the adjoining property owner is responsible.     See our prior post.

Case 3:  You fall due to a broken curb in front of an apartment house on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, New York.

     The City is responsible for the curb.  This is so for all curbs in New York even though the adjoining property owner must install and maintain the curb.  Again, prior notice must be proven against New York, such as the Big Apple Map.  If there is no proof of prior written, there is no case.

Case 4:  You fall due to a broken sidewalk at the corner of East 79th Street and Park Avenue, New York City.  You fall on the ramped part of the sidewalk at the corner which allows easy access for wheelchairs, baby carriages, etc.  The adjoining property owner is an apartment house.

   In this case your case would be against the City even though the apartment house owner not only installed the ramp as part of the sidewalk, but also maintains it.  See our prior post.  In this instance there will only be a case against the City if a defect can be shown on the Big Apple Map.

 As you can see, there is little logic in the law governing the public sidewalks.  It all depends upon where you fall.

If you have been injured due to a fall on a sidewalk, please feel free to contact me at 800-581-1434 for a free consultation or write to letters@seitelman.com

Mark E. Seitelman, 6/4/10, www.seitelman.com.

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