If you fell and got hurt on a driveway, sidewalk or walkway, you may be wondering what are your legal rights. Read this article to understand about dangerous driveways, sidewalks and walkways.
If you fell and got hurt on a New York City driveway, sidewalk or walkway, you may be wondering who you can sue. As always, the answer is that it depends on exactly what happened, where it happened, and how it happened.
Answers from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates
With a proven track record of success in personal injury cases, our dangerous driveway, sidewalk and walkway lawyers can easily assess your situation to determine if you have a viable case. If you do, we can review your legal options and make sure you have all of the information you need to decide how to proceed.
In the meantime, here’s some basic information about these types of cases and advice about what to do if you or a loved one has been injured.
What Causes Driveway, Sidewalk Or Walkway Accidents?
A driveway or walkway becomes dangerous when it is damaged and remains in a state of disrepair or when debris or snow and ice is not removed in a timely manner.
Some examples of hazards commonly found on New York driveways, sidewalks and walkways are:
- Cracks & Uneven Surfaces — Fissures and irregular surfaces in the pavement are typically found in urban settings and usually expand over time. Causes include old age, growth of tree roots, hot and cold weather, nearby construction, improper repairs, overuse and other stresses.
- Potholes — Potholes are also found in sidewalks and walkways. These divots are usually created by environmental changes and damage from heavy machinery.
- Debris–If not removed promptly, natural and manmade waste can prove hazardous for pedestrians. This includes leaves, branches, scattered garbage, liquids, rocks, glass, metal and so on.
- Snow and Ice – Fallen snow and ice must be timely and properly removed.
Who Is To Blame?
Generally, the owner of the property is responsible for the safety, maintenance and care of the driveways, sidewalks and walkways.
In most cases, the person, business or organization that owns the property is legally responsible for interior and exterior maintenance. This means that they are responsible for removing any hazards, including those on driveways, sidewalks and walkways. This also means that they must provide adequate warning about such hazards.
When the property in question is privately held and the owner fails to fulfill these obligations, the City of New York will sometimes send an official notification telling them to remedy the matter. Failure to do so may put them at risk for legal action by the city or someone who gets hurt as a result.
In New York City, the city owns the sidewalks. However, in many cases, in accordance with applicable law, the responsibility passes from the city to contiguous property and building owners, who are then responsible for the sidewalk. In some cases, the city retains responsibility of its sidewalks. The city is responsible for the curbs and corner sidewalk ramps. In either case, anyone who gets hurt has a limited time in which to initiate legal action. Lawsuits brought against the City of New York require an additional filing called a Notice of Claim which must be filed within 90 days of the accident.
How We Build A Dangerous Driveway, Sidewalk And Walkway Case
If you or a loved one were hurt on a dangerous driveway, sidewalk or walkway, you can help us develop a winning strategy. The best way to do that is to gather as much material documenting your accident and injuries as possible.
Start by taking pictures. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and surrounding area as soon as you can. If your injuries prevent you from taking photographs, have a friend or family member do this. It is also important to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident or the condition that caused the accident.
Keep a record of all your medical treatment and take pictures of any visible injuries,
As your lawyers, we will:
- Contact the witnesses.
- Obtain surveys to show where the property is in relationship to the driveway, sidewalk or walkway where you got hurt.
- Verify ownership of the property.
- Obtain police reports.
- Construct diagrams of the accident scene.
- Obtain emergency dispatch and ambulance records.
- Obtain engineering reports attesting to any dangerous conditions on the sidewalk or driveway where you were hurt.
DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING TO CHANCE – CONTACT US TODAY
If you were hurt in a fall on a dangerous driveway, sidewalk or walkway in New York, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries from the responsible party. You are also entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses associated with your injuries. Know your rights – contact Dansker & Aspromonte to learn more about how we can help you, today.
Featured Image Credit: Max Pixel / Creative Commons Zero – CC0