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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Torrential Rain Causes Flash Flooding in NYC

October 5, 2023 in ,

Officials say more than three months of rain fell in a matter of hours last week throughout New York and even into parts of New Jersey. Viral videos show flash flooding that enveloped NYC neighborhoods, stranded drivers and commuters in public buses, subways, and airport terminals, and even set a seal loose in Central Park. After all that flooding, you may wonder if anyone is responsible for the damages—or worse, potential injuries.

Below, the New York personal injury lawyers at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. discuss the events and how personal injury law may be related.

NYC Experienced Three Months of Rain in One Hour

According to The New York Times reporting, the heavy rains on Friday, Sept. 29, broke records. Major roadways closed as cars remained stalled or floating down typically busy streets and highways. The deluge led to ankle-deep water at LaGuardia Airport as travelers struggled to carry their suitcases overhead to avoid dragging them through the flooded terminal. Schools and basement apartments also flooded and caused entire subway lines to shut down as MTA struggled to contain pouring rain from cascading down the stairs and onto the train tracks.

The downpour even led New York Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a state of emergency, but thankfully, no deaths were reported.

Who Is Responsible for Injuries Sustained During a Weather Event?

Passengers traveling by MTA bus or subway were left wet and stranded as buses filled with water along their routes. Those indoors fared better, but many also battled flooding, particularly in Brooklyn and Queens, where basement apartments saw heavy flooding. 

Now that the rain is over, many are wondering what comes next for their damages and injuries. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The coverage is typically an add-on to standard policies and cannot be purchased after the fact. As weather events become increasingly more common, purchasing this coverage could be a good idea to protect yourself from future events.

As for injuries, even when an injury is directly caused by weather, liability may generally depend on the circumstances of the accident. While a tree falling on your property may be considered an act of God, there are other cases when other parties could be found responsible for your damages or injuries.

For instance, an injury sustained while escaping a flooding basement rental apartment may be linked to a landlord if there is evidence that the landlord knew of the flood risk and did nothing to prevent it. Slippery railings or stairs contributing to a fall could also be a reason for a claim.

Do I Need a Lawyer After My Injuries?

At SPBMCC, we understand that you expect to live in properties that are well-maintained and safe from weather events, including flash flooding, and use public transit that is safe and well-maintained. 

While not all weather events are predictable, landlords should issue significant warnings once they become aware of the dangers. Our experienced legal team dedicates themselves to advocating for victims and their rights. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury following flooding in NYC or anywhere affected by the heavy rain last week, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation.

Our New York attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. stay up-to-date on local laws and regulations to best serve victims. Please contact our team of attorneys by calling (212) 732-9000.

This article was sourced from multiple outlets, including  TimeOut NY, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CBS News.

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