What Are The Common Causes Of Falls On New York City Sidewalks?
One of the most common causes of falls on New York City sidewalks are that the sidewalks themselves are broken or defective. One of the most common things that our New York City accident attorneys see is mis-leveling, where there’s a difference in elevation between the concrete flags of different parts of the sidewalk. Or, the sidewalk itself has become deteriorated due to freezing and thawing. A lot of times, that causes the sidewalk to deteriorate and cave in upon itself.
Another very common cause of sidewalk defect cases are tree wells. The trees that are planted in the sidewalk are supposed to be level with the surrounding areas. The City of New York is usually responsible for those because the tree wells are not considered part of the sidewalk. A lot of times, we see that the grate for the tree was taken out and someone steps, thinking there’s a sidewalk there, and there’s no sidewalk there. Or, the grate for the tree is mis-leveled, so that they are stepping on the sidewalk and they fall into the gap. They twist and break their ankle.
Another very common cause of sidewalk accidents are protrusions coming up from the sidewalk. A lot of times, for example, there was a parking meter or a sign sticking out of the sidewalk and someone removed it but left a piece of the pole sticking out. As people are walking, their foot gets snagged and they trip and fall. In those cases, we can usually prove that the city caused and created the defect by negligently removing the sign. Yet another common case where we have sidewalk accidents are cutout cases. That’s where someone does a cutout surrounding a manhole or a utility and negligently seals it. A defect tends to develop in that area and we eventually see a pothole.
What Types Of Injuries Typically Result From Trip And Falls On The Sidewalk?
A trip and fall accident can cause any type of injury. Very commonly, our Manhattan personal injury lawyers see fractured ankles because there’s a difference in elevation or a pothole and someone steps into it. Many times, they fall forward and end up with fractures of the hand, fractures of the wrist, or even facial injuries. Sometimes, our New York City personal injury lawyers see cases where someone twists as they fall and injures their back, neck, or shoulder.
How Is Liability Determined In A New York City Sidewalk Trip And Fall Accident?
The first step is to document where the accident happened. Take pictures of the defect itself from both close-up and far away, so we can see exactly where the accident occurred. Our investigators will go out and ascertain what building or property the sidewalk is in front of if any. Everything depends on where the accident happened. We will go out and photograph the area. From the address of the properties that the sidewalk runs in front of, we can do a deed search and find out who the actual owner of the property is. Once we know who is responsible to maintain the sidewalk, then our Manhattan personal injury lawyers can file a claim with the appropriate party.
Get Information on Causes Of Sidewalk Accidents 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.