If this is a one-family house in NYC then the City is still responsible, not the homeowner. You need to serve a Notice of Claim on the City within 90 days of the fall. More likely than not the City will ignore you and you will have to sue within 1 year and 90 days of the accident. Unless you have big injuries it won't be worth it. The exception to the above is if the homeowner shoveled the snow and made things worse.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
You are correct most lawyers are not interested unless there is a broken bone. So if you can find out who has the liability insurance on the property, contact them, and make a claim for your out of pocket, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you cannot do that sue the homeowner in small claims court for the maximum amount allowed. Best of luck!
Most personal injury lawyers do a cost benefit analysis to try to determine the amount of work plus expenses versus the likelihood of winning times the anticipated amount of the recovery. If the numbers do not add up we turn cases down. You have a limited injury and unless there is a serious injury (an operation or a fracture or a substantial loss of income with medical treatment) than it is not financially worthwhile for the lawyer to undertake the action. Also, it depends on whether the city or the private landlord is responsible. Good luck in trying to either find an attorney or obtaining a reasonable settlement. How much it is worth depends on the medical records, and your lost wages and expenses versus how reasonable the insurance company or the city of New York is.
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Snow and ice injury cases present challenges.
I defer entirely to the good New York attorneys who have responded to your question because they are experienced and because these cases depend heavily on state law and the intricacies of the facts of your case. My contribution is the link below to an article on the challenges raised in snow and ice injury cases: [Blue Link Below]
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
The biggest problem I see with your posting is that your damages are uncertain and you have very limited out of pocket expenses and no loss of income. You'll never find a lawyer to even look at your case if your injury goes undiagnosed. That you "may" lose time from work or that an x-ray "may" cost a certain amount is meaningless in a personal injury setting. If you want to be taken seriously by a lawyer or the homeowners insurance company, you at least need to know the extent of your damages.
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Best bet is to call one of the lawyers in your state who answered above to investigate. Good luck.
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I think your larger problem is liability. In NYC, the owner of a one family home ( if occupied by the owner) owes no duty of care to third parties for injuries on the public sidewalk. There might be fact specific exceptions to this, in situations where the adjoining homeowner engaged in a cleanup and affirmatively created or worsened the condition. Very difficult case. Its the City's sidewalk and you cannot prove liability against the City without evidence of prior written notice of the dangerous condition which, in the case of snow and ice, is virtually never. Again, under certain facts, the City can be liable where it undertook to remove snow and created a dangerous condition. No significant damages and weak case on liability means you'll probably have a hard time finding an attorney to take the case. In that event, its worth whatever your able to get.
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Why was there ice in front of the home? What caused the ice to be present? Is there a least that drains onto the walkway? Did they shovel and leave piles of snow that melted and re froze? In New York single family homeowners are exempt from liability under the administrative code unless they use the home for a commercial purpose or created the condition. Take photos of where you fell and the frontage of the home and walkway. Call a lawyer. A bad sprain may be more long lasting then a fracture.
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