NYC Personal Injury Lawyers | Paris & Chaikin, PLLC of Manhattan<
Call Right Now: 212-742-0476
Need A Ride? We offer car service to and from our office
Free Consultations Se Habla Español

View Our Practice Areas

Open or faulty cellar doors can be a source of premises liability

Cellars are not as popular as they once were. Most people no longer wish to access their cellar or basement via a door from the outside. Instead, people try to secure their home by allowing access to the basement or cellar through the interior of the home, not the exterior.

In some cases, after the cellar door access has moved inside, homeowners or landlords may remove the doors to the cellar or leave them open as a general practice. Unfortunately, open cellar doors are basically holes or pits that people can fall into and sustain serious injuries. It doesn’t sound like an issue until it happens to you or your child.

That fall, particularly if it is unexpected and there are stairs, can result in serious trauma, even death. Broken bones, serious contusions, even head or spinal injuries are possible. New York takes steps to minimize the risk of cellar door or cellar grate injuries by regulating them.

Cellar grates and doors are should be secure, sturdy and flush with the nearby wall or sidewalk. Failure to adhere to these rules can result in serious injuries, for which the property owner is likely liable.

Property owners are often liable for injuries due to cellar doors

With rare exceptions, property owners are usually held accountable for cellar door accidents. As someone visiting or living at a property, you have a reasonable expectation that the facilities will be safe. If the owner covered open cellar doors with something that blended in with nearby grounds, making it impossible to see, chances are the owners of the property will be liable for any injuries you or your child incurred as a result.

However, thanks to New York’s comparative liability or comparative negligence laws, if your child was doing something reckless, like jumping on rusted cellar doors which then broke, the courts may find you to be partially responsible for the accident. Providing your attorney with the exact details of the accident can help in the process of determining if you may carry some comparative liability. Chances are, however, even if you are partially responsible for the accident, the property owner will still be expected to cover some of your damages, as determined by the courts.

An attorney can help you after a cellar door accident

If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of an open or faulty cellar door, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with an insurance company for the property owner or assist in the filing of a civil suit to recover any losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

  • Luxury Car Service To And From The Office

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Bold labels are required.


    The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


    Privacy Policy

    • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Super Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers
    • New York State | Trial Lawyers Association
    • 10 BEST 2015-2016 | 2 Years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
  • Paris & Chaikin, PLLC

    225 W. 34th Street, Suite 2202 (14 Penn Plaza) New York, NY 10122 New York Law Office Map

    Free Initial Consultation - Se Habla Español