Every year, a shocking number of New Yorkers are severely injured due to their falling down open sidewalk, cellar doors. Most of these injuries could have been avoided if the cellar door hadn’t been carelessly left open, in the first place. Here are seven facts about cellar door injuries:
- Cellar door accidents are more common than most people realize
- Millions of people walk over or around cellar doors and grates in New York City every day. Often the cellar doors are not clearly marked or monitored when they are being used. Because of this, cellar doors can be hazards when they are open or closed.
- Cellar doors and grates are supposed to be flush with the adjacent sidewalk
- One of the reasons that cellar doors and grates are hazards is that their hardware can be raised higher than the sidewalk, or cause the sidewalk to crack and deteriorate. It is easy for people to miss these minor hazards until it is too late, and they trio and fall and injure themselves.
- Cellar doors and grates can degrade over time
- Cellar doors and grates are not immune to the effects of wear and tear. They can warp and degrade over time, causing them to deform and create a tripping hazard. Worse still, they can become degraded to the point they give way or break when someone steps on them.
- Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their cellar doors
- The law requires all property owners to maintain sidewalk cellar doors in a safe condition. They must repair any damage done to them, and ensure they do not pose a hazard to passers-by.
- Cellar doors and grates are supposed to be built and installed appropriately
- Likewise, construction companies that install cellar doors and grates are supposed to ensure their work is done properly, and manufacturers are supposed to ensure their products meet appropriate safety standards. Defectively manufactured or installed doors and grates are more likely to trip people or collapse, increasing the risk of an injury.
- Injuries from cellar door falls can be very serious
- Even a relatively minor fall from tripping over a cellar door or grate can lead to serious harm including, broken bones, torn ligaments, or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- You may be entitled to compensation if you get injured
- If you suffer an injury as a result of tripping on a cellar door or grate, or fall through a door or grate while walking, you may be entitled to be paid for the harm you have suffered. The only way to know for sure, however, is to speak to a lawyer experienced representing people who have been injured from falling on or thorough sidewalk cellar doors.
If you or someone you know has been injured or sickened as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact the New York personal injury lawyers at the Katter Law Firm. We will help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact us at 212-809-4293, or visit our contact page.