Several months ago, a man slipped and fell (allegedly) on a mildly lifted part of the sidewalk adjacent to my house. I did some research, and I am getting conflicted information as to whether I am responsible as homeowner or New York City is responsible (I live in one of the boroughs of New York City). He is threatening to sue me.
Who is responsible for the defective sidewalk?
3 Answers from Attorneys
All depends, as usual in the law. If you live in a single or two-family home, the City is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. However, if the man tripped and fell on a part of the sidewalk of which a special use was made (e.g. the driveway apron), the homeowner becomes responsible. Best course is to report the accident to your homeowner's insurance company, and take pictures of the sidewalk condition now. Best, M.E. Zuller
How is he "threatening to sue you" Have you rceived an official correspondence from an attorney, from court?? or is it just verbal threats?
NYC administrative code provides that a 1, 2 or 3 family residential property is exempt from personal injury liability (caused by failure to maintain sidewalks), although there may be some exceptions "such as special use".
If you receive actual notices or summonses from the injured party, I would first and foremost advise your Insurance carrier of the event, and have them take up the matter. If you dont have coverage, seek an attorneys personal consultation.
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