Raised Sidewalk Accidents in New York
While navigating the busty streets of New York, pedestrians encounter various hazards, including the potential dangers posed by raised sidewalks. A raised sidewalk refers to an uneven or broken pavement surface that can lead to trips, falls, and serious injuries. Such injuries can place a financial burden on the injured victim as well as on their family. A raised sidewalk accident is considered a premises liability issue because it involves the condition and maintenance of the property. Property owners, whether residential or commercial, have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, including the sidewalks adjacent to their property. When a sidewalk becomes raised or uneven, creating a dangerous condition that leads to an accident, it can be seen as a failure to fulfill this duty. If you or a loved one have been affected by a raised sidewalk injury, do not hesitate to contact our experienced New York personal injury lawyers. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we are committed to advocating for your rights, navigating the legal complexities, and ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.Common Injuries from a Raised Sidewalk Accidents
Raised sidewalks pose a significant hazard to pedestrians, leading to various injuries. Some common injuries include:
Trip and Fall Injuries: Uneven or broken sidewalks can cause individuals to trip and fall, resulting in various injuries. These can include fractures, sprains, strains, dislocations, and head injuries. Depending on the severity of the fall, individuals may suffer from broken bones, particularly in the wrists, arms, ankles, or hips. Head injuries can range from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries.
Back and Neck Injuries: Sudden jolts caused by tripping over a raised sidewalk can lead to severe back and neck injuries. These injuries often include herniated discs, whiplash, spinal cord damage, and vertebral fractures. Back and neck injuries can result in chronic pain, restricted mobility, and long-term disability, impacting an individual's quality of life.
Facial Injuries: When an individual falls due to a raised sidewalk, they may sustain significant facial injuries. These can include lacerations, bruising, dental damage, and fractures to the nose, jaw, or cheekbones. Facial injuries can result in disfigurement, scarring, and emotional distress, requiring extensive medical treatment and potential reconstructive surgery.
Soft Tissue Injuries: Raised sidewalk accidents can also lead to various soft tissue injuries. Abrasions, contusions, strains, and sprains are common examples. Soft tissue injuries can cause pain, swelling, and limited range of motion, often requiring medical intervention, physical therapy, and rehabilitation to recover fully.
Psychological Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, raised sidewalk accidents can have a profound psychological impact. Individuals may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and a fear of walking on sidewalks or similar surfaces. Psychological trauma resulting from a raised sidewalk injury can significantly affect an individual's daily life, relationships, and overall well-being.
It is important to note that the severity and long-term consequences of raised sidewalk injuries can vary significantly from case to case. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial, even if injuries appear minor at first. Prompt medical evaluation not only ensures proper diagnosis and treatment but also establishes a documented record of the injuries sustained.
If you have suffered injuries due to a raised sidewalk, it is vital to consult with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer. They can assess the specific details of your case, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights to secure the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages resulting from your injuries.Liability for a Raised Sidewalk Accidents
Determining liability in raised sidewalk injury cases can be complex. Parties potentially responsible for maintaining sidewalks in New York include:
Property Owners: In many cases, property owners are responsible for sidewalk maintenance and repair adjacent to their property. They have a duty to keep the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition and can be held liable for injuries caused by a raised sidewalk if they were negligent in fulfilling this duty.
In McCabe v. Avalon Bay Cmtys., Inc., 177 A.D.3d 487 (N.Y. App. Div. 2019), the court addressed the issue of liability for a raised sidewalk injury. The plaintiff tripped and fell on a raised sidewalk outside an apartment complex owned and managed by Avalon Bay Cmtys., Inc. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to properly maintain and repair the sidewalk, leading to her injuries. As evidence, the plaintiff produced a map where the property manager seemed to indicate problems with the sidewalk. The Appellate Division found in favor of the plaintiff, denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgement.
Commercial Tenants: If a commercial tenant has control over the sidewalk area as part of their lease agreement, they may be responsible for maintaining and repairing the sidewalk. An examination of the terms of the lease and evaluation of the actions or inactions of the commercial tenant will provide insight into liability.
Municipal Liability: New York City and other municipalities have specific laws governing sidewalk maintenance. In some instances, the municipality may be liable if it fails to inspect, repair, or maintain the sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition. Pursuing a claim against a municipality can be challenging, requiring adherence to strict procedural requirements and timelines. An experienced personal injury attorney in New York with knowledge of the municipal laws can navigate these complexities on your behalf, advocating for your rights and pursuing fair compensation.
In Morales v. City of New York, 270 A.D.2d 239 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000), the plaintiff was injured when he slipped on a patch of ice which formed next to a raised public sidewalk in Brooklyn. Expert testimony indicated that the raised sidewalk resulted in a pooling of water which turned to ice in the area where the plaintiff fell. There was also evidence that the defendant had had prior written notice of the raised sidewalk. The court found in favor of the plaintiff who was awarded $350,000 in damages.
Compensation. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York can help injured victims evaluate the specific circumstances of their case, understand their rights, and pursue fair compensation for their injuries and losses. In a raised sidewalk accident in New York, victims may be entitled to various types of damages. These can include compensation for medical expenses, encompassing past, current, and future costs associated with treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, victims may seek reimbursement for lost wages due to their inability to work during recovery, including potential diminished earning capacity. Compensation for pain and suffering, encompassing physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall impact on the victim's quality of life, may also be pursued. Property damage, rehabilitation and therapy expenses, and in some cases, punitive damages to punish extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, may further contribute to the potential damages sought.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you or a loved one was injured due to a raised sidewalk, a skilled personal injury attorney serving New York can help ensure that your rights are protected. The experienced team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates will provide you with personalized legal guidance, conduct a thorough investigation, gather relevant evidence, engage with expert witnesses if necessary, and demand fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We have a deep understanding of the legal complexities surrounding raised sidewalk injuries in New York and a proven track record of success in advocating for our clients. Contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your case and explore the legal options available to you. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bro