How Is Liability Assigned In Relation To The Condition Of The Sidewalk?
New York follows a law of joint and several liabilities. That means that everyone who is responsible for creating a dangerous condition is responsible. A plaintiff can sue any one or all of them together. Typically, our New York City trial lawyers believe that the best approach is to sue everyone who potentially could be liable and let them work out amongst themselves who is more at fault for causing the dangerous condition.
What Do We Need To Prove In A Trip And Fall New York City Sidewalk Case?
If it’s a general commercial property, you have to show that the sidewalk was in a dangerous condition long enough that it should have been a reasonable period of time for them to repair it. A lot of times, property owners will admit that the crack was there for a few months or years and they didn’t do anything about it. You can also sometimes get records which show there have been calls and complaints about the particular property. Personal injury lawyers are now using Google Maps to document that conditions have been there for a long period of time.
If you have a personal injury case against the City of New York for a broken or defective sidewalk, you have to establish that the city either had prior written notice of the condition or that they caused, created, or made special use of the sidewalk, which resulted in a dangerous condition.
If I Fall On A New York City Sidewalk Due To Snow And Ice, Can I Still Sue Someone?
The City of New York is not generally liable for not removing snow or ice. However, property owners are responsible to remove snow and ice from the outside of their premises, including the sidewalk. If you fell in front of a commercial building, that property owner is responsible for not having removed snow or ice. The exceptions are city-owned property. If you were walking down the street and you fell outside of the New York City Fire Department, then the city would be responsible because they are then the property owner. If you fell because of snow or ice while coming into the subway on the subway stairs, the New York City Transit Authority is responsible for that. If you fell in the Port Authorities in New York, New York-New Jersey Port Authority is responsible.
Is Contributory Or Comparative Negligence Ever Applicable In New York City Trip And Fall Cases?
New York is a state that follows what’s called the comparative fault rule. It’s one of the most liberal in the country and what it means is that if the property owner is at fault for having a dangerous condition but you’re also partially at fault, a jury would apportion liability. If they said that the owner was 50% at fault and you are 50% at fault, whatever money you were awarded gets reduced by 50%. If you are 90% at fault, you can still recover 10% of your damages in a New York City trip and fall case.
Get Information on Liability in A NYC Sidewalk Accident 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.