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Goldstein and Bashner

Who's Responsible for that Cracked Sidewalk You Just Tripped On?

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Every time you go for a walk in the neighborhood, you're bound to see them somewhere--those huge sidewalk cracks, lifts, and occasional jungle of weeds that grow from somewhere mysterious within.

You can try to jump over them (and risk looking like a four-year-old), walk around them (while avoiding traffic and equally hazardous, unkempt lawns) or, if you are wearing three-inch heals, you probably want to just turn around and avoid them altogether. But if you're not careful in avoiding sidewalk cracks, or if you don't see them to begin with, you can trip and fall, risking injury.

Sidewalk fall injuries can be anything from mild cuts and scrapes, to broken bones, to serious head trauma. It is important if you have an accident due to a broken sidewalk, that you know whose responsibility it is to maintain that sidewalk. And it might surprise you to learn that the answer differs from town to town.

On Long Island, each town has its own law stating who is responsible and pays for any injury that results from a damaged sidewalk. So if you trip over a sidewalk in Hempstead and are injured, you need to contact the homeowner. However, should your fall take place in Mineola, it is actually the town of North Hempstead that is responsible. It is important to know that filing a claim against a town is a very different process from filing against a homeowner,  and each has different time limitations.

If you have any questions about an injury caused by a damaged sidewalk, Goldstein and Bashner can help you determine who is responsible and collect the damages you are owed. Some cases might have time limitations, so contact our slip and fall lawyers today for a free case evaluation and to answer any questions you may have.

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