I have been an accident lawyer for over 25 years and I have represented many clients who have unfortunately been injured because of a defect on a sidewalk, a floor, or other surfaces. Some of my clients have fallen due to a broken sidewalk on a city street.
For those clients who have fallen on a city sidewalk, there are some important issues to be investigated. Firstly, the client must know the EXACT location of the sidewalk defect. I generally send an investigator to the location to determine the location of the defect as it relates to the nearest property.
If the accident occurred in front of a multiple residence (3 or more family building), a commercial building, a religious institution, or a 1 or 2 Family residence that is NOT occupied by its owner, then the New York City ordinances require owners of those types of buildings to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. That includes making repairs to broken concrete, cleaning the sidewalk of snow and ice, etc.
Also, the owners of a 1 or 2 Family Residence are responsible for maintaining the driveway if they make “special use” of that driveway (i.e., ingress and egress of the driveway).
Generally, if the client is injured in front of a 1 or 2 Family Dwelling and the accident took place somewhere other than the driveway, the only potential defendant in the case is the City of New York.
If you are suing the City of New York, you first must prove that the City had “prior written notice” of the defect at least 30 days before your accident. That means that either a citizen or a other entity would have had to notify the city of the “specific defect and the specific location of that defect” at lease 30 days before YOUR accident. There is a company that gives notice to the City of defects by sending the city a map with markings which identify the defect. The problem is that many of the maps are very outdated.
A person who is injured by falling on a sidewalk should contact an attorney with years of experience and who specializes in Personal Injury. The Law Office of Charles DeStefano has been in business for over 25 years. Charles DeStefano is an attorney who has helped thousands of injured persons and he is the right choice for you.