In the bad old days, the king (or queen) was immune from being sued. The idea was called “sovereign immunity.” In essence, the king could hurt you or take your money, and you could do nothing. Modern governments like those of the city of New York and New York state, or their agencies like the New York City Transit Authority and New York City Housing Authority, have granted us the ability to sued or held them responsible for personal injuries. Please note that there are several other governmental agencies which also have their own unique requirements. To identify which agency and what requirements need to be met, feel free to call me, attorney David Ascher, at 212-964-1515.
Steps That Must Be Taken In Municipal Cases
What’s the catch? In any case involving the city of New York or agency (Transit Authority, Housing Authority, NYC Health and Hospitals), there are several time-sensitive steps to take before a lawsuit can be started.
Pursuant to the General Municipal Law, the following requirements are needed prior to commencing an action:
- A NOTICE OF CLAIM MUST BE FILED WITHIN 90 DAYS OF THE ACCIDENT.
- THE INJURED PARTY MUST SUBMIT TO A HEARING IF REQUESTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY
- THE INJURED PARTY MUST SUBMIT TO A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION IF REQUESTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY.
- THE INJURED PARTY MUST UPON REQUEST PROVIDE AUTHORIZATIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OR AGENCY TO OBTAIN ANY RECORDS THEY REQUEST.
After all the above requirements are satisfied, personal injury action against the city of New York, New York City Transit Authority, New York City Housing Authority and NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation must be commenced within one year and 90 days of the accident. Please note that there are several agencies with their own unique time frames. It is important to consult an attorney like me immediately to determine the applicable time frame.
Helping You Understand If You Have A Case
There are several types of city accident cases involving the city of New York. For example, many sidewalk cases still involve the city. If you are injured in a pothole in the roadway or street, the city is often the responsible party. Roadway cases are particularly tricky because there are several other companies with service boxes, manhole covers and grates involved. I recommend that you contact my firm, The Law Offices of David Ascher, about your sidewalk or roadway personal injury or accident case.
There is another quirk in the law regarding city accident cases involving sidewalk and roadway personal injury cases. Pursuant to the Administrative 7-201, the city of New York can only be held liable for personal injuries and accidents involving defects such as cracks, mis-leveling and broken sidewalks if it had prior written notification of the defect 14 days before the accident. This law is commonly known as the “pot-hole” law. If you are injured due to a crack in the roadway, the city of New York can only be held liable if the Department of Transportation of the City of New York had prior written notification of that defect 14 days before your injury. This is a very good defense for the city. Therefore, a thorough investigation is necessary. Such an investigation involves obtaining excellent photographs, speaking to witnesses and conducting a Freedom of Information Request from the Department of Transportation of the City of New York.
The city of New York is also a landlord of many buildings. If the city owns the building where you were injured, you must file the Notice of Claim, have a hearing and then sue the city within one year and 90 days. As a landlord, the city is held to the same obligations and standards as any other landlord.
There are several other types of city-related cases such as police brutality cases, wrongful arrest cases, wrongful conviction cases. These cases are very fact specific and require an immediate consultation with an attorney.
Let My Experience Help You Move Forward
To sum up city accident cases or a case involving a government agency, it is important to contact me, attorney David Ascher, immediately to determine who is responsible and which agency requires a Notice of Claim and other preliminary requirements and investigations. Call me at 212-964-1515 or use my online form.