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Unveiling the Risks: Common Boardwalk Injuries in NY

 In Blog, Law

The Prevalence of Boardwalk Accidents in NY

Boardwalks, while serene and picturesque, can sometimes present unexpected hazards. Thousands frequent boardwalks daily in New York, particularly during the bustling summer months. This high foot traffic, combined with occasional maintenance lapses, has led to an increased number of boardwalk accidents. Many New Yorkers and tourists alike remain unaware of these risks until they find themselves nursing an injury.

It is essential to understand that boardwalks, like other public properties, must meet specific safety standards. Municipalities or property owners responsible for their upkeep must ensure a hazard-free environment. Failure to meet these standards might render them liable for any accidents that occur on their premises.

Not every trip or stumble leads to a boardwalk injury claim. The intricate dance of New York laws stipulates particular criteria that must be met. Therefore, being educated about these nuances can spell the difference between a successful claim and an unfortunate dismissal.

Whether you are on Coney Island, the Riegelmann Boardwalk, American Veterans Memporial Pier or one of the other beautiful boardwalks in our area, you can enjoy beautiful sites. However, mixed in with this is a risk of injury, with hundreds injured every year. The Jones Beach boardwalk, Long Beach Boardwalk, the piers downtown Manhattan – they can all pose a risk, and when injury strikes, we can help.

Common Injuries Sustained on Boardwalks

While the nature of injuries can vary depending on the accident’s circumstances, certain injuries are more prevalent in boardwalk accidents. Among the most common are fractures, particularly wrist and ankle fractures. Often, individuals instinctively extend their arms during a fall, leading to wrist injuries. Similarly, uneven boardwalk planks can result in ankle twists and fractures.

Besides fractures, head injuries are another significant concern. Whether from a trip and fall or a collision with another person, the impact can lead to concussions or even traumatic brain injuries. Lacerations, sprains, and contusions also frequently occur. For instance, Sarah, not an actual law client but a hypothetical example, once tripped over a protruding nail on a boardwalk, resulting in a deep laceration that required several stitches.

Finally, spinal injuries shouldn’t be overlooked. A sudden fall can jar the spine, leading to potential herniated discs or other severe spinal conditions. These injuries can have long-term implications, necessitating expensive treatments and prolonged recuperation periods.

Navigating the Notice of Claim in NY

For victims of boardwalk injuries in New York, initiating a lawsuit against a municipality comes with specific prerequisites. One such crucial step is the ‘Notice of Claim.’ In essence, before suing a city or town for a boardwalk injury, the injured party must formally notify the concerned entity of their intent to bring a lawsuit.

The Notice of Claim is time-sensitive. Generally, the injured party has 90 days from the accident’s date to serve this notice. This document must detail the claim’s nature, the time, place, and manner in which the claim arose, and the damages incurred. Missing this window can result in the forfeiture of one’s right to sue. Hence, time is of the essence after a boardwalk accident.

Moreover, municipalities in New York have the right to conduct a preliminary hearing or examination before any lawsuit ensues. This procedure allows the city to assess the merit of the claim and gather evidence. While this might sound daunting, armed with the right legal representation and a well-documented case, one can navigate this process smoothly.

Proving Liability in Boardwalk Trip and Fall Accidents

Establishing liability is a cornerstone of any personal injury claim. In the context of boardwalk injuries, victims must prove that the responsible party either caused the hazard that led to the injury or knew of the hazard and neglected to rectify it in a reasonable timeframe. The mere occurrence of an accident doesn’t automatically assign blame.

For instance, if a boardwalk plank is loose, causing someone to trip, it’s vital to determine how long the plank had been in that state. They could be held liable if it had been loose for an extended period and the responsible entity had ample notice but did nothing. Conversely, establishing liability becomes more challenging if the hazard had just appeared and there was no reasonable way for them to know about it.

Photographs, eyewitness testimonies, and accident reports can play a pivotal role in substantiating claims. Documenting the scene right after the accident can provide invaluable evidence, showcasing the exact conditions that led to the injury.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in NY

New York operates under the ‘comparative negligence’ principle when determining damages in personal injury cases. This means that if the injured party is found partially at fault for the accident, their potential compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if someone is found 30% responsible for their injury on a boardwalk, they can only recover 70% of the total damages awarded.

It’s not uncommon for defense attorneys to argue that the injured party was distracted or not paying attention, thereby contributing to their injury. While this might sound intimidating, understanding the nuances of comparative negligence ensures that victims are adequately prepared to counter such arguments and maximize their compensation.

Take, for example, Michael, a hypothetical individual who was looking at his phone when he tripped on a boardwalk. While he might be partially at fault for not paying attention, if the boardwalk had a clear and dangerous defect, the majority of the blame could still lie with the responsible entity.

Compensation and Damages in Boardwalk Injury Cases

Victims of boardwalk accidents in New York are often eligible to seek compensation for various damages. These range from present and future medical expenses to lost wages due to an inability to work post-accident. Additionally, damages can cover pain and suffering, a more subjective metric that accounts for the physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the injury.

Maintaining comprehensive documentation of all medical treatments, bills, and other related expenses is paramount. These records substantiate the claim and help quantify the damages sought. Moreover, if the injury results in long-term disability or the need for ongoing treatment, future medical expenses can be projected and included in the claim.

Notably, in cases where the responsible entity’s negligence is particularly egregious, punitive damages might also be pursued. These damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim per se, but rather to penalize the defendant and deter such negligence in the future.

Seeking Legal Representation: Protect Your Rights

Navigating the aftermath of a boardwalk accident, with its myriad of legal complexities, can be overwhelming for most. That’s where seasoned legal representation comes into play. Attorneys familiar with New York’s laws surrounding boardwalk injuries can offer invaluable guidance, ensuring that victims’ rights are upheld and they receive the compensation they deserve.

A seasoned attorney can meticulously investigate the accident, gather essential evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent the victim in court if needed. Their expertise often proves indispensable in ensuring a successful claim. With our help, victims can focus on their recovery, knowing their interests are safeguarded.

It’s essential to note that time is critical after a boardwalk accident. The sooner one seeks legal representation, the better poised they are to build a robust case, given the time-sensitive nature of evidence collection and the serving of notices.

Contact Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. for Boardwalk Accident Claims

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a boardwalk accident in New York, don’t navigate this journey alone. At the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C., our seasoned attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of New York’s personal injury laws. We are committed to ensuring that victims receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Understanding your rights and the potential compensation you can claim is vital. With our expertise, we will guide you every step of the way, ensuring that every aspect of your case is handled with the utmost precision and care.

Don’t let the legal system’s complexity deter you from seeking justice. Contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. today at (800) 560-0214 for a consultation. Your path to recovery and justice starts here.