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Can sidewalk injuries give rise to a premises liability lawsuit?

In New York City, property owners have a legal duty to maintain sidewalks abutting their property in a reasonably safe condition.

According to the New York City Department of Transportation, this duty requires the owner to repair defective sidewalk flags and to remove material or precipitation from the sidewalk. If this duty is breached and a pedestrian is injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the property owner could be facing a premises liability lawsuit.

Yet the details of a premises liability lawsuit are not necessarily straightforward. Our personal injury law firm advises gathering evidence as close in time to the incident as possible. In fact, if an individual has a cell phone, he or she should take pictures not only of the injury, but also the sidewalk defect or hazard that caused the fall. Ideally, the picture would include a date and time stamp. An individual should also record or take a photograph of the address, as well as any other relevant details, such as construction companies or other third parties that may have contributed to the defect.

The location of the accident ultimately determines who might be responsible in a premises liability lawsuit. If a sidewalk's location were outside a business, that property owner would likely be the named defendant. If the slip-and-fall accident occurred on the curb abutting the sidewalk, the defendant might be the City of New York. Notably, special administrative procedures are often required before filing a lawsuit against a municipality. A defect might also be the responsibility of multiple defendants.

Our law firm has experience in bringing premises liability claims against both private property owners and municipalities. A dangerous condition on private or public property should not be tolerated. A law firm can help injured pedestrians hold property owners accountable in a court of law. With a premises liability lawsuit, our attorneys will request damages to help you handle your medical costs and pain and suffering.

Source: NYC Department of Transportation, "New York City Administrative Code Sidewalk Rules," copyright 2016, The City of New York

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