Who Is Liable for Sidewalk Slip and Fall Injuries In New York?

Sidewalk Slip

Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks can cause serious injuries, leaving victims with medical bills and missed workdays, among other inconveniences. In New York City, the liability for injuries can vary greatly depending on who owns or operates the property adjacent to the sidewalk. It’s not uncommon for the owner of the property next to a sidewalk to be held responsible for accidents that occur. Provided the defect was caused by the owner or operator of the property, they are usually liable for any injuries resulting from it. This could include uneven pavement, cracks, tree roots, and other hazards. The party responsible could also be federal, state, or municipal government entities, depending on who owns or maintains the sidewalk at issue.

Determining Liability

To successfully recover damages for a sidewalk, slip, and fall, the injured party must prove that the opposing party is at fault. This includes demonstrating that the property owner or operator was aware of the defect in question and failed to take appropriate steps to repair it. In some cases, this can be proven through photographic evidence of the hazard or records indicating prior complaints about the issue. It’s important to note that proving fault may be difficult, as some sidewalk defects cannot reasonably be expected to have been discovered and remedied promptly. Also, depending on whether it was a private, public, or governmental entity responsible for the defect, there may be additional steps and requirements necessary to prove fault.

Considering other factors like the length of time it was present, and proximity to the owner’s property entrance can all be helpful when determining who is liable for your injury. For instance, if a hazard or defect existed on or near an entrance or stairway leading to the owner’s property, then they may have a much more difficult time showing that they took reasonable steps to fix the issue.

Receiving Compensation

Determining the extent of liability is just the first step. To receive compensation for your injuries, you will need to file an injury claim with the responsible third party. This entails presenting your evidence and documentation to the court and proving that the responsible party was negligent in their duty to keep their sidewalk free from hazards. It’s also important to remember that there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in New York State. Thus, it boils down to making sure you preserve evidence and notes of the accident as soon as possible, so that should you choose to seek damages, you’ll have a stronger case. Furthermore, the services of an experienced slip and fall attorney at Friedman Levy in New York City can also be invaluable when navigating potential legal issues.


Slips and falls can be incredibly unpleasant experiences, with significant financial burdens that may not be easy to bear. Fortunately, provided you can prove negligence on the part of the responsible third party, it is possible to receive compensation for your injuries. However, taking the necessary steps to determine liability and file a claim requires legal knowledge and time. Therefore, it’s important to consider seeking legal counsel if you find yourself in this situation.