Buildings that are unsafe or that have faulty stairs or sidewalks in front of them can result in serious accidents. Owners are responsible for keeping their property safe and can be held accountable for injuries that occur due to dangerous property conditions. The area of law that deals with these types of accidents is called premises liability.
New York City and the surrounding metro areas have a lot of pedestrians, which means that sidewalks get a lot of use. Consequently, sidewalk accidents are a common source of injury, and emergency rooms treat a large number of patients every year for broken bones, concussions and other severe injuries caused by falls on sidewalks. Heavy pedestrian traffic and the weather create wear and tear on sidewalks, which can develop cracks, potholes or become uneven.
In New York City, the owner, whose property borders or lies directly adjacent to the sidewalk is responsible for keeping the sidewalk in safe condition. The New York City Administrative Code Sidewalk Rules address this fact. The owner is responsible for installing, constructing, reconstructing, repaving, repairing or replacing defective sidewalk pieces. Owners are also responsible for removing snow, ice, dirt and other material from the sidewalk. The city is not liable for personal injury or death caused by a failure to maintain sidewalks.
While ordinances vary from municipality to municpality, cities in Long Island also hold property owners accountable for maintaining safe sidewalks that are adjacent to their property.
Owners must maintain their buildings and repair hazards to keep their buildings safe. Doing so requires making building repairs such as repairing elevators and escalators, replacing torn carpet, fixing uneven or broken steps, and repairing leaking ceilings or collapsing structures. If someone suffers serious injury as a result of an unsafe building, the owner and his or her agent can be sued for damages.
Examples of unsafe conditions include:
Falling down a flight of stairs can result in serious injury, including head or brain injuries, spinal cord injury, broken bones and back injuries. When a dangerous stairway condition caused the accident, the injured person may have grounds to sue the property owner and manager who were responsible for ensuring the stairways were safe.
What types of hazards can lead to falling down stairs?
If you have suffered serious injury or a loved one has died because of unsafe property conditions, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss the accident and whether grounds exist for pursuing a lawsuit.
Call us toll free at 888.519.6400, or contact us in Garden City at 516.248.2234, or in Flushing-Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx at 718.539.3100. You can also fill in our contact form, and we will get in touch with you.