There are some kinds of accidents in New York City that don't involve motor vehicles, but because they may be caused by negligence, the injured victims may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation. One of the more prominent areas of pedestrian injury involves pedestrians falling into a sidewalk grate that covers an opening to a private business' cellar area on Manhattan's streets. Additionally, significant injuries are chalked up by the cracks, splits and holes that dot the sidewalks in Manhattan areas where there is substantial foot traffic.
Generally, these types of accidents raise the issue of contributory negligence. Thus, if an individual falls into an open grating, he or she may be accused of not looking or not paying attention. With comparative negligence laws in New York, however, the prospect of a plaintiff losing such a claim in its totality is not as great as it was in the past. One recent Manhattan incident looms as a potential claim for personal injury against a defendant with a famous name and probable insurance to help ease the impact of such mishaps.
An elderly man in his 70s fell down a 12-foot drop onto a cement cellar floor owned by the McDonald's franchise located at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. The grate that protects pedestrians from falling into the basement was not in place when the accident occurred. Witnesses said that he had hit his head and was "bleeding all over the place."
Responders carried him away on a stretcher; he remained in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital. However, a serious concussion can sometimes result in permanent brain injury and life-long symptoms. Although witnesses said that the opening had no cones or warnings against pedestrian injury, a McDonald's manager disputed that claim and speculated that the man may have been talking on his cell phone. In this type of injury, a victim or his family may obtain access to all of the necessary information and resources by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with New York City accidents and the applicable laws.
Source: CBS New York, "Man Falls Into Sidewalk Grate In Front Of Midtown McDonald's", Tracee Carrasco, Oct. 15, 2015