It’s widely known that it’s possible to sue an individual or private company if you are injured because of their negligence or maliciousness. Of course, things get more complicated when you consider suing a government institution like the city of New York.
And so, if you or a loved one has been injured because of negligence or inattention on the part of a government employee, you might be wondering if you can sue the city of New York. Read on to learn more, or contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today online or at 516-342-2200 for a free consultation.
Types Of Injury Claims You Can Bring Against The City Of New York
Despite what you may think, it’s possible to bring a broad range of injury claims against the city of New York. Here, examples include but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accident claims. For example, if the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) did not fill in a pothole in the street, and the pothole led to an accident with another driver, the city of New York could be liable for injuries and damages sustained by both victims.
- Premises liability claims. If there is a hazard on government property that people are required to traverse, like ice in front of the DOT office building, the city of New York could be held responsible for injuries that people receive when they slip and fall on the ice patch.
- Civil rights violation claims. If a police officer employed by the city of New York hurts a citizen through the use of excessive force, the city itself could be held liable for any harm caused by the aggression.
In essence, you can bring any type of injury claim against the city of New York, provided that the injury was caused by the city of New York’s negligence, inattention, or aggression on the part of a city employee (e.g., a police officer, firefighter, public school teacher, sanitation worker, etc.).
Rules About Suing The City Of New York
Even though it is possible to sue the city of New York for damages and injuries, there are specific rules that you must obey to go about this process. Most government bodies are shielded from civil and/or criminal lawsuits because of sovereign immunity, a legal concept whereby government bodies cannot be sued for the same reasons as ordinary people or private companies.
That said, sovereign immunity may be waived under certain circumstances and contingent on specific conditions. Specifically, you must be able to prove:
- That the city of New York itself, or one of its employees, was directly responsible or liable for the injuries sustained by you or a loved one. For example, if you get into an accident with another driver because of a road hazard that the city of New York should have cleaned up, you’ll have to prove that the road hazard existed, contributed to the accident, that the accident wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and that the city of New York had an obligation to fix the road hazard. That can be a tall order, even for those experienced with the legal process.
- That the accident occurred within a reasonable amount of time in the past. Compared to other legal actions, the statute of limitations for filing claims against the city of New York is very low.
What’s The Statute Of Limitations For Claims Against The City Of New York?
Normally, if you want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against another private citizen, you have three (3) years to take legal action. In contrast, if you want to sue the city of New York, you have to file a Notice of Claimwithin (90) days of the incident or accident.
Then, you have to wait (30) days to give the city the opportunity to investigate the claim. During the (30)-day timeframe, the city may decide to offer you a settlement. After the (30)-day waiting period, you can finally take legal action and sue the city of New York.
But suing the city of New York must also happen promptly. You have one (1) year and (90) days to file a lawsuit against the city. The statute of limitations expires one (1) year and (90) days after the date of the incident, not the date on which you filed the Notice of Claim.
Proving Negligence On The Part Of The City
In many lawsuits against the city of New York, the most difficult part comes with proving negligence on the part of the city, its employees, or its subsidiary organizations.
For these purposes, proving negligence requires separately proving:
- That the city of New York had a standard or duty of care to you in a specific circumstance (e.g., the city of New York has a responsibility to employ trustworthy police officers who prioritize safety).
- That the city of New York violated that duty of care (e.g., the police officer deliberately harmed you even when you were cooperating with them).
- That the violation of the duty of care led to distinct injuries (e.g., you suffered a broken bone because of the abuse of a police officer).
Note: Proving all three (3) of these elements can be challenging, even if you believe you have sufficient evidence. That’s why it’s so crucial to speak with knowledgeable attorneys right away.
Skilled attorneys know the ins and outs of suing the city of New York and all the potential tricks the city might pull to defend itself. Get in touch with Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 516-342-2200 or online to learn more.
You May Also Be Partially Responsible
In any lawsuit against the city of New York, you could be held partially responsible for your injuries and damages under the rules of pure comparative negligence.
Pure comparative negligence means that two parties can be partially responsible for the injuries sustained by one or more victims. For instance, if you present evidence in court, and the court finds you to be 30% responsible for your own injuries (by being inattentive, by not listening to city employees, etc.), any damages you receive will likely be reduced by 30%.
Thus, even if you are successful in your lawsuit, pure comparative negligence could cause you to receive less money than you expected.
Knowledgeable Attorneys Can Help
Given all these caveats and potential pitfalls, it makes sense to get in touch with experienced attorneys as soon as you can.
In point of fact, the right attorneys can provide a wide range of different assistance for your case, including but not limited to:
- Gathering evidence for you while you recover from injuries. This is particularly helpful if your injuries are very severe or prevent you from being mobile.
- Representing you in court if the lawsuit goes to trial. Your attorneys can tell you what to say and answer the tough questions that the opposing counsel might pose, as well as present the evidence you collected compellingly.
- Providing you with sound legal counsel. You might not know whether a lawsuit against the city of New York is a wise idea, for example, or if you should accept an initial settlement offer. Your attorneys can provide you with recommendations or advise in either direction based on the details of your case, the projected timeline, and other factors.
All that to say, you need to have the right attorneys on your side to handle the job! Moreover, you should hire attorneys based on their practice areas. For instance, if you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by the city of New York, qualified auto accident attorneys will likely be able to best serve you. And so, you should choose your attorneys based on practice area, reviews, and results.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
To recap, it is possible to sue the city of New York for negligence, particularly if that negligence led to demonstrable injuries or damages on your part. However, because suing a government organization is very different from suing an individual, it helps to have knowledgeable attorneys on your side throughout the process.
That’s where Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help. One call could save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road. Moreover, our experienced attorneys are among the best people to contact if you have questions or wish to file a lawsuit, so reach out to us today either online or at 516-342-2200 for a free case evaluation and so much more!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!