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From uneven pavement and icebound walkways to poorly maintained sidewalk cellar doors, navigating obstacles is a daily routine for many New Yorkers. While most accidents caused by such hazards may not involve serious physical harm, there is always the risk of severe injury. In addition to potentially debilitating head trauma, the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine reports that slips, trips and stumbles on level ground are the leading cause of fall-induced spinal cord injury.

When it comes to slip-and-fall injuries, an entire life can change in an instant. From emergency medical care and recovery treatment to the potential for long-term or even permanent disability, the cost and emotional stress can become overwhelming. Those who suffer injuries due to building owner negligence should know that they may be able to recoup needed funds by pursuing a premises liability claim.

What are a building owner’s sidewalk maintenance responsibilities?

In New York City, the real estate property owner bears full responsibility for keeping the adjacent sidewalk reasonably safe and clear of obstacles. This includes ensuring that sidewalk flags are free from significant defects, as well as removing snow, ice or other debris that could pose a danger to pedestrians. Failing to do so could make the owner liable in the event of property damage, personal injury or death related to these hazardous conditions.

What types of damages could a premises liability claim include?

When a slip-and-fall injury is severe, it can easily lead to cascading costs that last well into the future. If a building owner’s neglect has led to serious harm, the injured individual may be able to recover health care costs and lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Because such injuries may involve an extended recovery time or even permanently prevent an individual from returning to work, the total damages may include both present and future expenses.