A record-breaking winter storm slammed New York City recently, shutting down airports and leaving more than 17 inches of snow in Central Park. Residents and business owners scrambled to dig out from the storm that resulted in a number of deaths in accidents across the state.
While slipping and sliding across a sidewalk can be embarrassing, it can also be deadly. If you were injured in a fall due to a defective or poorly maintained public sidewalk, you may have a viable lawsuit against the property owner.
City officials are not liable for unsafe sidewalks
In years past, the city of New York was responsible for keeping sidewalks safe. Unfortunately, when someone got hurt, they had to prove the city had prior written notice of the snowy condition that caused the accident. However, in 2003, Local Law 49 was enacted, creating a quantum shift that absolved city leaders of any accountability for city sidewalk accidents, and placing the burden of responsibility on the abutting property owners.
Suing commercial property owners
Commercial property owners in New York City are now required to keep sidewalks free of snow, ice, dirt and other materials. Failure to clean or efficiently clean the sidewalk can lead to serious accidents, even when the weather causes the adverse conditions.
Do not chalk up a fall to mere clumsiness. You have legal options if your slip-and-fall resulted in a serious injury, and the law has never been more favorable to injury victims. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer can explain these exceptions and your rights.