When an individual suffers an injury in an accident caused by a government
agency, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the local municipality.
Lawsuits against municipalities and municipal subdivisions, however, differ
from those filed against normal citizens and insurance companies. A "municipality"
refers to any type of government entity, such as villages, towns, cities,
or states. A "municipal subdivision" refers to any agency, such
as police, EMTs, firemen, or teachers that work for the municipality.
While injured individuals typically have up to three years to file a negligence
lawsuit, the time constraints differ for claims against municipalities.
When filing a claim against a municipality, injured individuals typically
have to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days and bring a lawsuit within
a year and 90 days. As a result, injured individuals should not hesitate to
contact an NYC Municipal Liability Lawyer.
Do You Have Grounds to File a Lawsuit Against a Municipality?
In order to file a lawsuit against a municipality, injured individuals
must be able to prove that a government agency acted negligently. In order
to prove negligence, the government agency in question must have had a
duty of care to the injured party. A duty of care is a legal obligation
that one party has to use a certain degree of care when performing potentially
hazardous tasks. The injured individual must then be able to show that
the municipal subdivision violated their duty of care. Furthermore, the
injured individual must be able to show that the municipal subdivision's
negligence was directly responsible for their accident and subsequent injury.
Examples of municipal negligence include but are not limited to:
- Highway or roadway design maintenance failures
- Improper operation of city vehicles
- Lack of driver training
- Subway or railroad accidents
- Faulty traffic lights
It is important for individuals to be aware that accidents caused by a
municipal subdivision's negligence do not necessarily provide grounds
for a lawsuit. In order to have a valid claim, the injured individual
must have sustained either economic or non-economic damages. Economic
damages are any monetary loss caused by the accident, such as lost wages,
property damage, or medical bills. Non-economic damages are any pain and
suffering caused by the accident, such as long term physical pain or emotional trauma.
Filing a Notice of Claim
When filing a lawsuit against a municipality or government agency, the
injured individual must file a notice of claim first. In New York, municipalities
have sovereign immunity, meaning they cannot be sued unless they consent
to the suit being instituted. In order to achieve government consent,
the injured individual must first file a Notice of Claim. Typically a
Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident.
When filing a notice of claim, the following must be included:
- Name and address of the party filing the claim as well as the attorney
representing that party
- The nature of the claim, including what happened, the precise time the
incident occurred, and the location of the incident.
- The nature of the injuries suffered
- The damages the injured party is seeking in their lawsuit
- The document must be verified
Due to the complexities involved in filing a Notice of Claim, it is important
that individuals who wish to file a lawsuit against the city hire an experienced
attorney. A skilled attorney will handle all aspects of the filing process,
ensuring there is enough information present for the claimant to continue
with their lawsuit.
Don't Hesitate to Retain a Skilled Municipal Liability Lawyer
Due to the time constraints imposed by the statute of limitations and the
requirement to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days, individuals who
wish to file a lawsuit against a municipality should retain an attorney
as soon as possible. In New York, the deadline to file a Notice of Claim
after an accident is 90 days while the statute of limitations is a year
and 90 days. At
Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our
New York Municipal Liability attorneys have years of experience representing injured individuals in lawsuits
against municipalities and government agencies. We realize there are strict
deadlines for filing claims against municipalities and government agencies.
As a result, we handle all of our clients' claims in a timely manner.
Our firm will handle all aspects of the legal process, including filing
the Notice of Claim, filing the lawsuit, interviewing witnesses, negotiating
settlements where appropriate, and pursuing maximum compensation in court.
Have you or someone you love been involved in an accident that you believe
was the result of a municipal agency's negligence? If so, you may
be able to recoup compensation for your losses. For a free review of your
legal options, call 212-406-1700 or fill out our online case review form.