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Are property owners liable for sidewalks in slip and fall cases?

When a slip and fall accident happens on your New York City property, it can be frustrating to deal with liability if the injured party pursues a case. But what about the sidewalks outside your property? How much liability do you have for maintaining the sidewalks in good condition, especially if those sidewalks are city property?

You may be dismayed to find out just how much responsibility for sidewalk conditions is on you as a property owner. As long as you are the owner of a property that is not used for residential or multifamily residential purposes, according to New York City law it is not only your responsibility to pave, repave and maintain the sidewalk abutting your property, but it is also your responsibility to handle any liability in cases involving that sidewalk.

That means that if someone slips, falls, and injures themselves or even dies on the sidewalk outside your premises, you are solely legally liable for any damages or other suits pursued because of unsafe sidewalk conditions. For as long as you own the building or premises, the sidewalks attached to them are considered your responsibility with little to no liability on the part of the city in the case of very specific instances. Failure to clear debris, ice, snow or other obstacles or safety hazards from the sidewalk can be considered negligence, as can other factors involving letting sidewalks fall into disrepair.

The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be considered legal advice.

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