The month of April had an unexpected start for residents in the Midwest and Northeast eager for spring to arrive as a storm with cold temperatures, extremely strong winds and even snow hit the area. With wind gusts measuring more than 55 mph in the New York region, tree branches and other debris went flying into cars and houses. In addition, many trees were uprooted from yards and sidewalks leaving hazardous conditions for pedestrians at risk for a trip and fall injury.
The photos of the damage to some areas looked like the aftermath of a hurricane. Pieces of buildings were ripped off and there were reports of building collapses across the region. Ahead of the storm The New York City Department of Buildings put out a warning for crane operators and construction companies to secure their equipment to prevent an accident such as the crane collapse earlier this year which killed one person and injured two others. Speed limits on area bridges were reduced, especially for large tractor trailers and 18-wheelers.
The most damage in residential areas came from trees being lifted out of the ground by the wind, pulling up large chunks of earth and sidewalk with them. The responsibility for the cleanup of these massive obstacles varies for property owners depending on the laws in the village, town, county or city where the incident occurred. Once the initial removal of trees is complete, there is still a broken sidewalk to consider. Depending on how far the roots of the tree reach, sometimes a disruption of the sidewalk could be a significant distance away from where the tree originally fell. Pedestrians may not notice the broken sidewalk and could suffer significant injuries if they trip and fall over pieces of loose concrete.
We can’t control Mother Nature but we do have the responsibility to clean up after her wrath in order to keep the people around us safe from a trip and fall accident. If you have suffered an injury due to a fall on a broken or raised sidewalk, the recovery time can be costly. Contact the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Finz & Finz, P.C., to help you recover the compensation you deserve.