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Sidewalk Defect Attorneys

Since 2003, New York City has exempt itself from liability for accidents resulting from sidewalk defects abutting commercial premises or residential premises of more than three families. In these cases the property owner is responsible to maintain and repair the public sidewalk. For one-, two-, and three- family owner occupied residential premises, the City of New York continues to be responsible to maintain the abutting sidewalks, as it is for curbing, crosswalks and street potholes.

A defective sidewalk can include a trip hazard to pedestrians caused by a raised slab, uneven slope, a collapsed sidewalk, a hardware trip hazard, or improper patchwork.
In order to establish liability against the City of New York for a sidewalk or crosswalk defect, the trip and fall victim must establish that the City had prior written notice of the sidewalk or crosswalk defect pursuant to the New York City Administrative Code 7-201.

There are two exceptions to the written notice law. The first is where the City of New York made a special use of the sidewalk that caused the defect and derived a benefit from that special use. The second is where the City affirmatively created the defect by an act of negligence.

Where the sidewalk containing the defect is not the responsibility of the City of New York but rather a commercial property owner, the law requires that the property owner have actual or constructive notice of the defect. If there is no notice of the defect, the property owner is not responsible for an accident caused by the defect. Special use or is also an exception to the notice requirements imposed by the law.

New York City Sidewalk Trip and Falls

A defective sidewalk can include a trip hazard to pedestrians caused by a raised slab, uneven slope, a collapsed sidewalk, a hardware trip hazard, or improper patchwork.

According to the New York City Administrative Code 19-152 any of the following shall be considered a sidewalk defect:

  • One or more flag(s) missing or sidewalk never built.
  • One or more flag(s) cracked to such an extent that one or more pieces of the flag(s) may be loosened or readily removed.
  • An undermined flag below which there is a visible void or a loose flag that rocks or seesaws.
  • A trip hazard, where the vertical surface differences between adjacent sidewalk flags are greater than or equal to 1/2″.
  • Improper slope, which shall mean (i) flag(s) that do not drain toward the curb and retain water, (ii) flag(s) that must be replaced to provide for adequate drainage or (iii) a cross slope exceeding established standards.
  • Hardware defects, which shall mean (i) hardware not flush within 1/2″ of the sidewalk surface or (ii) cellar doors that deflect greater than 1″ when walked on, are not skid resistant or are otherwise in a dangerous or unsafe condition.
  • Defects involving structural integrity, which shall mean a flag that has a common joint, which is not an expansion joint, with a defective flag and has a crack that meets the common joint and one other joint.
  • Non-compliance with DOT specifications for sidewalk construction.
  • Patchwork, which shall mean (i) less than full-depth repairs to all or part of the surface area broken, cracked or chipped flag(s) or (ii) flag(s) which are partially or wholly constructed with asphalt or other unapproved non-concrete material.

Victims of Trip and Fall Accidents

Many times a victim of a trip and fall accident feels embarrassed and immediately tries to get up. This is a normal reaction. Even so, you should immediately call 911, and if you feel pain seek immediate medical attention.

Mr. DiMartini has obtained millions of dollars in awards and settlements for his personal injury clients.
It also important to document what defect caused you fall. Most people have a camera phone. If not, a bystander can take a photo for you. Getting the names and phone numbers of any witnesses is also important and can be helpful to your claim.

The person hurt by tripping on a broken sidewalk should never talk to any insurance company representative or investigator until he or she has first consulted with a New York plaintiff’s personal injury attorney.

New York City Sidewalk Defect Attorneys

If you have been injured in a New York City trip and fall accident accident due to a sidewalk defect, you need a competent personal injury lawyer to stand by your side and help you through this trying time.

We will conduct an immediate investigation into your claim to collect the necessary evidence, such as photographs of the sidewalk defect, interviewing potential witnesses, and gather all investigative reports and medical records in order to thoroughly prosecute your claim.

Since 1987, Mr. DiMartini has represented people injured in accidents throughout the New York City metropolitan area. He has a long record of success winning favorable settlements and awards for his injured clients.

Personal injury law is all we do. We know how to get results!

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York City trip and fall accident due to a sidewalk defect, we are here to fight for your rights. Call Mr. DiMartini directly at 1.844.299.0030. You can also contact us online. The consultation is free. There is never a fee unless we win your case!

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