Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P.

Municipal Liability

A Top New York Municipal Liability Law Firm

Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York Municipal Liablity law. Six of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. Five of our attorneys have been featured as Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is ranked among the Best Lawyers in the State of New York and is ranked among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.

New York City Municipal Liability Lawyers

New York Municipal BuildingWhen 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

Legal SearchWhen 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.

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