As the summer season transitions into fall, many people choose to walk instead of drive as it is perceived as a safe mode of transportation. However, despite sidewalks being designed to keep pedestrians secure while they navigate the roadways, devastating accidents and injuries can occur due to unsafe sidewalk conditions. When the appropriate parties fail to meet their legal obligation of maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their property, they may be held accountable for any losses due to their negligence. It is imperative to note that this duty also applies to government-owned properties. As such, many people wonder whether they can take legal action against the city for injuries sustained due to an unsafe sidewalk. If you or someone you care about has been injured due to hazardous sidewalk conditions on government property, contact a competent Bronx Sidewalk Accident Lawyer who can help you understand your legal options.
What makes a sidewalk unsafe for pedestrians?
In New York, property owners are responsible for regularly maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their premises. Failure to do so can result in catastrophic slips and falls. Sadly, there are numerous ways in which a sidewalk can be deemed unsafe for pedestrians, including:
- Failure to clear weather-related hazards, such as snow or ice
- Failing to remove debris
- Cracked, uneven, chipped, raised surfaces
- Exposed tree root
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
- Construction debris
- Sinking or lifting slabs
What is the timeframe for filing a Notice of Claim?
In New York, the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity protects the city from being sued without consent. However, sovereign immunity is waived if you follow the strict guidelines and meet all required deadlines for filing your claim. Under the New York Court of Claims Act, private citizens must provide a notice of intent to file a claim. To go forward with legal action, individuals must file a Notice of Claims within 90 days of the accident. The notice must include the circumstances of the incident that caused your injuries, such as the time and location of the accident.
Providing the municipality with notice of your intent to take legal action allows them to investigate your claim and determine whether you can pursue legal action for the damages you’ve endured. Generally, premises liability claims must be filed within three years from the accident date. However, the time frame is much shorter when taking legal action against a government entity. Failure to meet the deadline means you will be barred from taking legal action altogether.
To prevent this from happening, it is in your best interest to contact a dedicated Bronx sidewalk accident lawyer from James Newman, P.C., who can help you navigate this complex legal process. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.