At seven in the morning, Noel is running late for the bus. Running down
the front steps of his downtown apartment building, he turns left toward
the bus stop. The springtime rising sun blinds him as he nears the corner
and he is unable to see the broken sidewalk pavement in front of him.
He trips and falls onto the warming pavement, landing with his right arm
underneath his torso. Noel clutches his wrist as he rises. It is clearly broken.
Cracks on sidewalks are common on city streets. Weather and age cause the
pavement to split and become uneven. Tree roots rise through sidewalk
surfaces. Even potholes can develop on sidewalk concrete. Standing water
and other debris can sometimes obscure these hazards.
Experienced Newburgh personal injury attorneys know that pedestrians injured by defective sidewalks can receive compensation
for their injuries. Property owners must not create dangerous conditions
on their property, nor should they let hazardous conditions persist on
the property. The property should be inspected and remediated timely.
Pedestrians should be warned about any hazard left untreated.
When property owners fail to maintain their property as required by law,
they may be held liable in a court of law for any injury they cause by
their negligence. The problem with
sidewalk accidents is determining who is liable for the pedestrian’s injuries and damages.
This is because the government will sometimes be liable since sidewalks
are typically built and maintained by governmental entities. Other times,
private parties will be liable because some municipalities have regulations
that which require property owners adjacent to sidewalks to maintain the
condition of the sidewalks.
If the government was responsible for the care and maintenance of the sidewalk,
a suit can name the appropriate public entity as a defendant in apremises liability lawsuit. The plaintiff must give the municipality notice prior to filing the claim.
Also, the governmental body must have had notice about the defective sidewalk
and a reasonable time to cure the defect. If such did not exist, the victim
will not be able to collect compensation.
Filing a claim against a private party is different. Advance notice of
suit is not required. Also, a private party does not need to be informed
of the defect in order to be held liable. Having actual notice along with
a failure to cure will certainly lead to potential liability; however,
property owners can be charged with having constructive notice of the
dangerous sidewalk condition. Constructive notice occurs when the property
owner should have known about the defect had he/she inspected the property
to discover the danger, as would have any other reasonable property owner.
Learn more about springtime warm weather bringing people outdoors for fun
and, unfortunately, accidents in
our latest article posted here. Read about how more people walking outside leads to more car accidents
with pedestrians in
our blog posted here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.