How Complicated Is A Case If It’s A City-Owned Sidewalk?
Cases involving the City of New York are, in general, more difficult to prove because you have an additional burden of proving that the city had prior written notice. Also, when the City of New York gets involved, you have to file a notice of claim, which is not required against normal property owners. You have to be able to show that the city of New York had either prior written notice or they did something negligently to create the defect.
One exception to that rule is what’s called the special use doctrine. Special use doctrine applies where the city has made special use of a sidewalk. For example, if they have parking meters there or they make use of it for other specified reasons, like a call station for the NYPD. Those are special uses and they are responsible, without prior written notice, if they do something wrong that causes the sidewalk to be in a dangerous condition.
Do New York City Sidewalk Trip And Fall Cases Fall Under The Umbrella Of Premises Liability?
In general, every landowner has a responsibility to maintain their property and that’s what’s called premises liability. Premises liability in New York law is a general liability for being careless with a premise or property. Dangerous sidewalk cases definitely fall within the premises liability area. In New York City, the New York Administrative Code requires adjacent landowners to maintain the sidewalk, so they are liable for a dangerous portion of the premises, i.e., the sidewalk.
Who Is Responsible For A Trip And Fall That Happens On A Sidewalk Near A New York City Construction Site?
In addition to the property owner, our New York City construction accident lawyers know that every general contractor who is performing construction on the premises has an obligation to make sure that the sidewalk in front of the property is in reasonably good condition. Sidewalks outside of construction sites tend to be a disaster. A lot of times, they’re bringing in trucks or heavy equipment across the public sidewalk and into the premises. New York State Labor Law actually imposes upon contractors the responsibility to make sure the sidewalks and entryways onto and off a construction site are in a reasonably safe condition.
Our midtown Manhattan construction accident lawyers can often show that the sidewalks are dented or caved in by pressure. That becomes the responsibility of the general contractor to fix. If the construction damages the sidewalk in front of a property, both the property owner and the general contractor can be sued.
Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Premises Liability Lawsuit For A New York City Sidewalk Trip And Fall Accident?
The statute of limitations depends on who the responsible party is. If the responsible party is the City of New York, the New York City Transit Authority, the Port Authority, or a School Construction Authority, you only have 90 days to file a notice of claim. After filing the notice of claim, a lawsuit must be filed within a year and 90 days of the occurrence.
Against a general property owner, the statute of limitations is three years. However, if it is a minor who is injured in a trip and fall, the statute of limitations for the lawsuit is stalled and doesn’t start to run until the person turns eighteen years old.
Get Information on City-Owned Sidewalk Cases or call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (212) 858-0503 and get the legal answers you are seeking.