How NYC Prevents Sidewalk Accidents

The City of New York knows that cracked or poorly maintained sidewalks are an accident waiting to happen. And they also know that they have a responsibility to maintain these pedestrian thoroughfares. But, how do they go about preventing these accidents and what more can be done?

According to the NYC Department of Transportation’s homepage, there are 12,750 miles of sidewalks in the city. The DOT’s goal is to make all of them safe for people walking around the city and to prevent injuries. To this end, they replace more than 2 million square feet of sidewalks each year.

Most of this replacement work is done on city property and in residential areas. But, some of this replacement work is done when property owners fail to step up to the plate themselves.

A sidewalk law passed in the past few years shifts some responsibility of sidewalk maintenance to property owners.

It states:

Property owners are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining sidewalks adjoining their properties. DOT staff inspect sidewalks and notify the property owner of needed repairs. In the event timely repairs are not made by the property owner, the City may hire private construction firms to make the repairs. When this happens, the City bills the property owner for the costs of the repairs. Property owners must also keep their sidewalks clean and are responsible for snow removal.

When property owners fail to fix their sidewalks, they can be fined. The charges incurred are the charges of replacing or repairing the sidewalk- work the city will do and bill you for.

Also, when a person fails to maintain their sidewalk, they could be a party to a personal injury lawsuit if someone should be injured when they fall or trip on the poorly maintained walks. This means that if you are hurt because someone doesn’t take good care of their sidewalk, you could be eligible for compensation.

Who is responsible for the accident depends on where the accident takes place. If it’s in front of someone’s home, it could be the property owners responsibility. If it’s at a park, the responsibility could lie with the city.

The New York personal injury attorneys of Omrani & Taub can offer assistance when accidents like this occur. Whether you broke an ankle or even suffered a head injury, a sidewalk accident is no small matter. When you are hurt like this, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. You can reach an attorney anytime by calling 212-529-7848 (that’s 212-LAW-SUIT).