If you suffer an injury on public property, such as a sidewalk, in New York City, the City of New York may be liable for your injuries.
In order to hold a municipality such as the City of New York liable, you will need to prove that the government was negligent—and that this negligence caused your accident, and therefore your injuries.
On this page, we will walk you through the things you need to know after you are injured on public property in New York.
Types of Accidents on Public Property
Though there are many circumstances that can lead to an injury while on public property, the most common type of injury involves a fall on a public sidewalk. Other less common injuries include falls in City-owned buildings, roadways, parks, and other recreational facilities.
Broken and Unsafe Sidewalks
New York City is a pedestrian town, so people depend on their sidewalks to safely get them from point A to point B. But when the sidewalk is inadequately maintained, a normal commute from the subway can turn into a life-altering accident with long-lasting impacts on your health and well-being.
Cracked, raised, and otherwise damaged sidewalks create hazards that can result in trip and fall accidents. Injuries from these accidents can range from mild to severe. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and back and neck injuries from a fall onto hard concrete can develop into chronic conditions that affect your ability to work and your enjoyment of life.
When the sidewalk is not maintained, the City of New York may be held liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The City of New York is not responsible to maintain or repair every public sidewalk in New York City, however. In some instances, these responsibilities fall on the property owner, tenant, or maintenance company of the property adjacent to the sidewalk. For this reason, it is very important to perform a careful and thorough investigation of your accident to determine the legal responsibilities of both the City of New York and the adjacent property owner.
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Defining Liability and Liable Parties
Often, a personal injury lawsuit brought against the city is based on something called premises liability. Premises liability refers to incidents that occur at a certain location, or “premises.” In these cases, you are alleging that the party responsible for maintaining that property in a safe manner failed to do so.
Premises liability cases can be brought against business owners, homeowners, and other owners of private property. For example, say you are going into a store, but you slip and fall on a patch of ice in front of the business. By not salting or shoveling their property, the store owner failed to uphold their duty of care to you. Therefore, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries.
When bringing a premises liability case against the City of New York, however, things can be more complex since there are special rules that must be followed when bringing a claim against The City of New York. If you have been injured on public property, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately so that you understand your rights and comply with the special rules that apply. The City of New York requires that in order to have a successful claim, you must first file a document called a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your accident. If you fail to file this document within those 90 days, you may be barred from recovering any money from the City of New York even if they would otherwise be held liable for your injuries and damages. There are other deadlines that you must also comply with. Contact the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates to protect your rights. Until then, follow this simple advice to begin building a strong case:
- Call the police at the scene of your accident
- Request emergency medical care at the scene
- Record the names and addresses of any witnesses
- Take photographs of the defect that caused your accident
- Photograph any visible injuries
- Do not post on social media about the accident or your injuries
You May Be Entitled to Substantial Compensation
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Whether the evidence shows that The City of New York or a private property owner is responsible for your accident on public property, the law entitles you to demand fair and just compensation for each and every type of damage you sustained. While every case is unique, some of the types of damages you may recover include money for:
- Pain and suffering for all physical and emotional injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Future pain and suffering, if your injuries are deemed permanent
- Loss of services in the home
- Damage to the marital relationship
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages or diminished income
- Lost pension or retirement benefits
- Future lost wages
- Out of pocket expenses for medications, transportation, or any other costs
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Getting Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer
After a serious injury, you may not be clear about your rights and how to proceed. The lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates have been fighting for injury victims just like you since 1988. When you contact our lawyers for a free consultation, we will answer your questions and give you a clear picture of your rights and the road ahead. If you agree to retain us to help you we will begin a careful and thorough investigation of your accident, gather and secure evidence, file all claims in a timely manner, and build a strong claim for you so that you can focus on your own recovery. Our lawyers are standing by to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If we agree to accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We only receive a legal fee when we recover compensation for you. Call us today at (212) 732-2929.