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Who Is Responsible for Maintaining NYC Sidewalks?

New York City has over 12,750 miles of sidewalks. In a city with close to 9 million residents, accidents are bound to happen along these pathways if they are not well maintained. But whose responsibility is it to maintain these sidewalks? This question is especially pertinent when someone suffers an injury and wants to file a lawsuit.

Changes to NYC Sidewalk Maintenance Law

A neighborhood street covered with snow

For a long time, victims of sidewalk accidents would file claims against City Council. However, the City of New York enacted changes in 2003 that transferred the duty of sidewalk maintenance to the owner of properties abutting the sidewalk. In the amended New York City Administrative Code of 2003, Section 7-210 shifts responsibility and liability to adjacent property owners.

This law does not apply for one-, two-, or three-family owner-occupied family residential properties used exclusively for residential purposes. For these properties, the city is still responsible and liable in the case of sidewalk injuries.

Property Owners’ Sidewalk Responsibilities

Under existing New York City law, owners of a property bear the responsibility for concrete repairs, snow shoveling, sweeping, and clearing trash and any other materials (as detailed in Sections 19-152 and 16-123 of the NYC Administrative Code) from all sidewalks adjoining their property. Property owners must keep records of this maintenance. The laws excuse the City of New York from liability in sidewalk accidents that result in injuries. Property owners carry liability for any injuries caused by their failure to meet sidewalk maintenance obligations.

Premises Liability

When an accident occurs on any NYC sidewalk that results in injuries or fatalities, the property owner or the city can be found responsible under the law. An injured party can file for compensation against the property owner or the city. The law requires a plaintiff to prove that the liable party was aware of the hazardous conditions of the sidewalk and never addressed them.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the NYC sidewalks, talk to the personal injury attorneys at Leav & Steinberg LLP. We believe the city and property owners owe a duty of care to people using the sidewalks. We offer dependable legal representation for the NYC community to help get favorable results. Contact us today for a free consultation.