Governmental Premises Liability on Public Lands, Sidewalks and Roadways

Bronx Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of People Injured in New York City Accidents

At the Jesse Minc Law Group, our attorneys and staff are committed to recovering the maximum amount of damages owed to you under the law. We advocate for people who have suffered injuries in not only public transportation accidents but also accidents caused by poorly maintained public properties, such as a trip and fall accident caused by a damaged sidewalk or pothole. Our Bronx premises liability lawyers employ a team of experts and investigators who can gather evidence and locate witnesses to support your claim and to make sure that your case is properly proven, which is the key to obtaining maximum compensation. We also spend our own money to make sure that, when we go to trial, we have cutting edge technolognology on our side to present your case in a manner that juries – as well as defense attorneys and insurance companies – will understand clearly and effectively. Our dedication to obtaining justice for our clients is shown by our greater than 95 percent success rate in court and in the conference room.

Premises Liability Claims in New York

Owners of real estate owe a duty of care to maintain safe premises for anyone whom they reasonably expect might be present on their property. This includes buildings like houses, apartments, offices, and stores, as well as open spaces like parks. The exact duty of care that a property owner owes depends, in part, on the expectation that people will enter the property. A company that allows people onto its premises as part of its regular business, such as a store, has a significant responsibility to remove or warn about known hazards, and to maintain the property in a safe condition. The key to a premises liabilty is proving that there existed a dangerous condition on a premises, that the owner had notice of the condition (i.e., that they were actually made aware of it, or that it was present for so long that it should have been recognized), and that this dangerous condition caused an accident to occur. The concept of “notice” is often the most hotly-contested part of any premises liabiltiy case, and our firm will work tirelessly to ensure that you have the right evidence (photographs, witnesses, video tape, etc.) necessary to prove that the defendant knew about the dangerous condition that caused your accident and failed to act on it if we accept your premises liability accident case.

Maintaining New York City Public Properties

The New York City government is responsible for maintaining public areas like streets, sidewalks, government-owned buildings, and other premises. Central Park, perhaps New York City’s most famous public property, is owned by the Department of Parks and Recreation. A private organization handles the park’s day-to-day operations under a contract with the city, but the city is ultimately responsible for its safety.

Injuries caused by unsafe or hazardous conditions on public property may result in the government’s liability. Governmental immunity requires a person suffering from this sort of injury to go through some extra steps, including filing a notice of claim, before they may go to court. Our Bronx attorneys are familiar with this process and can make sure that you satisfy the procedural requirements.

Responsibility for Sidewalk Maintenance in New York City

Section 7-210 of the New York City Administrative Code states that commercial property owners are responsible for maintaining the length of sidewalk that abuts their property, and they can be held liable for injuries that result from a failure to do so. The law defines a “failure to maintain” as including negligently failing to repair broken or defective sidewalk flags or failing to remove dangerous material like ice or snow. The city retains responsibility for the maintenance of sidewalks abutting residential properties, defined to include owner-occupied one- to three-family residential properties. This law was enacted in approximately 2006, and was instituted to shift the burden and expense of maintaining the City’s sidewalks from the City of New York itself to individual property owners. Prior to the institution of this law, the City of New York was responsible for all accidents occurring on sidewalks throughout New York City that involved a trip-and-fall on a public sidewalk.

Pursuant to this important rule, however, the City of New York retains the responsibilty to maintain sidewalks in front of its own buildings, as well as those that are designated as “one, two or three family homes” (i.e., smaller than a large apartment building, and not office buildings). If the City of New York is the defendant in a sidewalk accident case, a plaintiff must prove that the City of New York received “prior written notice” of the dangerous condition pursuant to Section 7-201 of the New York City Administrative Code, also known as the “Pothole Law”, or the case will be dismissed.

It is interesting to know that, prior to approximately 2006, the New York State Trial Lawyers’ Association – an organization of which Jesse Minc is a proud member – used to maintain a program known as the “Big Apple Pothole Commission” which would hire surveyors to walk New York City’s streets, taking note of all of the dangerous defects on the City’s sidewalks, and then would send a written notice in the form of a special map to the proper authorities at the City to ensure that the City had prior written notice of as many dangerous defects as possible. This was done both to support recoveries in sidewalk accident cases, as well as to try to increase sidewalk safety throughout NYC. When Section 7-210 of the Administrative Code was passed, however, the need for this service was no longer as important, and the Big Apple Pothole Commission was disbanded.

Injuries on New York City Roads and Streets

Injuries on New York City streets, when they are not caused by the negligence of a driver, often result from inadequate road repair. The city is liable for injuries caused by negligent maintenance, with an important exception. The New York City “Pothole Law,” found at § 7-201(c)(2) of the New York City Administrative Code, states that the city is not liable for injuries caused by a pothole or another unsafe condition unless the city has received prior written notice of the unsafe condition, or of injuries caused by the unsafe condition. This prior written notice must be sent directly to the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation at least ten days prior to the accident in question if such a case against the City of New York is to be successful.

Retain an Injury Lawyer in the Bronx to Hold the Government Accountable

The Jesse Minc Law Group’s attorneys offer many years of training and experience for our clients’ benefit. We limit the number of cases that we accept in order to make certain that each client receives the individual attention that they deserve. As a client of our firm, you will always have access to the attorney handling your case so that you can share any questions or concerns. Our practice extends from the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens into the surrounding areas of Long Island and Westchester County. To schedule a free consultation to see how our lawyers can help you, contact us through our website or at (718) 354-8000.

Client Testimonials
★★★★★
When I got hurt after falling on a scaffold on a construction site, I could not work in construction anymore and did not know how I could support my family. I turned to Jesse Minc and I am very happy that I met him. He also discusses my case in Spanish with me when I want to, and that always made me feel comfortable. I believe that he is the best lawyer in New York City and I would recommend him to anybody who is injured. Hector Vargas, Bronx, New York
★★★★★
After I was very badly hurt in a construction accident and could not work anymore, I turned to Jesse Minc. I have had a lot of lawyers over the years, but he is the best I ever had. Because I was a member of Local 6A Concrete Workers Union, I lost a lot of benefits, my pension and income when I got hurt and he made sure I understood how I could recover what I had lost. He and his team have been a Godsend to me and my family, and I am so glad that I chose him to represent us. Luke Rosa, Bronx, New York
★★★★★
My experience with Jesse Minc's firm was very rewarding. I personally dealt with Jesse Minc, who was a class act as my lawyer. He was always on call with any questions or help I needed in the process of my lawsuit. Jesse recovered a high six figure sum for a slip and fall accident I endured. He got the case settled in a reasonable time. If you are in need of lawyers for a lawsuit in New York City I highly recommend Jesse Minc's firm, they got me a very high settlement and were there for me personally every step of the way. Thanks to all the lawyers and staff. Salvador Ruiz, Brooklyn, New York
★★★★★
When I got hurt on a construction site and could not work anymore, one of my brothers from the Concrete Workers Local 6A union recommended Jesse Minc to be my lawyer and I am very happy I picked him to represent me. He really does have the human touch that a lot of lawyers lack. I would recommend Jesse Minc to anyone injured in a construction accident because he will fight to the end of the earth for his clients. Joseph Toro, Bronx, New York