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Can I sue the city for personal injury if I am already injured?

Ithaca, NY |

I was walking down a sidewalk with my crutches (I broke my leg playing soccer), and one slab of the sidewalk was around 3-4.5 inches lower than the other one. I couldn't see that from my angle, and i fell down and was in severe pain.

Do I have a case here, or am I just unlucky?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. I don't think short term pain is much of a case. If your fracture is exacerbated it may be worth pursuing. Take photos of the defect. You need to serve a Notice of Claim on the City within 90 days of your accident.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  2. As Mr. Rothstein indicates, increased pain may not be worth the time and expense involved. If you've sustained some new injury or have suffered a significant exacerbation of the fracture, it may be worth pursuing. Either way you should consult with any attorney as soon as possible as there are short time frames for filing a claim against NYC.

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  3. You may have a case. Consult with a local personal injury lawyer. Need to prove liability and damages.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  4. It depends on how long the increase pain lasted and if you did any more significant damage and/or injured some other part of your body. If so you need to make sure you file notice of claims within 90 days of the occurrence against any and all municipalities that may be responsible for the construction and maintenance of the sidewalk.


  5. In addition to what the others have advised, be aware that your use of the crutches for walking will be an issue even if the sidewalk defect is blatant.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


  6. Doesn't sound like the sidewalk caused much of an injury

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