Hoboken Legal Beagle – Success!
The Maxwell’s sidewalk renovation is now fully complete.
In addition to the improved walking conditions, they replaced an overgrown tree which was completely blocking the street light. A huge upgrade for this part of 11th Street. Way to go Todd!
PHOTO GALLERY (HOLD MOUSE OVER IMAGE TO NAVIGATE – 14 PHOTOS IN THIS SET)
See history after the jump…
Much to the delight of area residents, the Maxwell’s sidewalk finally gets repaired:
Today’s Hoboken411 Legal Beagle segment deals with dangerous sidewalk conditions, and who’s responsibility it is to fix them. I’ve personally heard a few people having problems with this exact stretch on 11th Street.
Maxwell’s doesn’t care about their sidewalk!
“Who is responsible for ensuring that the sidewalks are maintained and don’t create any potentially unsafe conditions?
Here is one particular area I’m concerned with. It’s near Maxwell’s on 11th Street. This overgrown tree has pushed the sidewalk concrete up to the point where it is unsafe. Furthermore, the street light nearby is not only one of the dimmer ones (not very bright), but the tree is so out of control, it blocks all the light.
I recently tripped and fell on this late one night and badly injured my hand and chipped a tooth.
Is the property owner responsible for maintaining it? Or the city?
What about that overgrown tree? Who is supposed to manage that?
Would a lawsuit be worthwhile?
Hoboken411 Legal Beagle says:
Well the Legal Beagle doesn’t specialize in personal injury (PI) cases, but this is the kind of case that makes a PI attorney drool!
Your kind of case is called a slip and fall. Since this is a commercial building, not a one-three family building, the building owner or Maxwell’s itself (depending on the lease) are liable for such an obvious unsafe condition. Since the City of Hoboken may be responsible for this unsafe condition, not likely under NJ law, but if so, you would need to file a Title 59 Torts Claim Notice with the City of Hoboken with 90 days of the accident.
But your job is not to worry about who is responsible but how to get the best possible lawyer. First, you did a great job with the pictures but the attorney you hire must immediately send out an expert to analyze the site (or is that sight, like what a horrible sight, hmm I wish I could cite some authority), and once at the location the expert will take measurements, note the general conditions, including the trees and lights, and then give a professional opinion that the area is unsafe.
If your lawyer does not immediately arrange for an expert to visit the location of your slip and fall then do not use that attorney. When I say immediately I mean within two days. This is the single most critical step in a PI case and if the attorney does not have an expert on call then it’s not the attorney for you.
In choosing an attorney for a PI case, be aware of his or her organizational skills, messy desk, lazy staff, evasive answers to your questions, move on.
Any money you receive in a settlement is tax free and there is a good chance your medical bills will be paid directly from the building owner’s “med pay” insurance. All of America is built around insurance, so when you have an opportunity for a legitimate lawsuit do not hesitate to hire an attorney and sue for damages.
PS, not that I want to cause Hoboken more financial problems, but the general rule on a City’s liability for dangerous conditions on streets and sidewalks is actual or constructive notice of the defect. So, if any of Hoboken411’s intrepid protectors of the common good come across a dangerous condition on the streets and sidewalks of Hoboken, they can do good by posting such defects here on Hoboken411. (as if Hoboken411 needs another category !!) (411 Note: Category created today! Readers: Please send your “Dangerous Conditions” emails and photos in!)
PPS, Sometimes trees grow too big for the sidewalks of urban areas and cause sidewalks to upend like here. In these cases, the landlord has the responsibility, in coordination with the City of Hoboken’s Shade Tree Commission, to have the tree removed and then, after the sidewalk is repaired, have another, new tree planted in the same location.