Can You Sue Your County in NY for a Pothole Injury?
The longer a municipality leaves a pothole unaddressed in New York, the more dangerous it can become. If you were injured because of a pothole, you may be able to sue your county for compensation.
Suing a county for a pothole injury can be complicated in New York. Many municipalities have prior written notice rules that prevent a victim from suing for a pothole injury unless the municipality was aware of the pothole and failed to repair it. Such inaction might lead to injuries sustained by drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. If you were injured because of a pothole in New York, you must file a notice of a claim within 90 days of the incident. If you do not, you might be unable to recover compensatory damages. Although filing deadlines differ for injury claims against municipalities, victims will not be limited regarding recovery.
To get a free evaluation of your case from The Carrion Law Firm, call our New York car accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083.
Can You Always Sue Your County for a Pothole Injury in NY?
Local municipalities and governments are often responsible for maintaining the roads within their jurisdictions. This includes repairing potholes that might present a danger to drivers. If you were injured in an accident because your county failed to fix a pothole in New York, can you sue for compensation?
The answer is complicated. First of all, many municipalities in New York have rules that they receive a prior written notice of an existing pothole. Because local governments can’t always monitor every street for possible potholes, they might only be liable if they were informed of a hazardous pothole and failed to repair it in a timely fashion, leading to your accident.
Furthermore, if you were injured because of a pothole while driving your car in New York, you might be ineligible to file a lawsuit, based on the severity of your injuries. In such instances, a victim’s personal injury protection insurance will cover their injuries unless they meet the serious injury threshold for motor vehicle accidents. Whether you were injured because of a pothole as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or driver, our Long Island car accident lawyers can assess your injuries and discover if your county has a prior written notice rule to confirm whether or not you can sue your local municipality for compensatory damages.
Examples of Pothole Accidents that Can Lead to Litigation in NY
Poorly maintained roads might lead to potholes forming in counties across New York. These craters in the road can become very dangerous to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike, leading to various kinds of accidents.
Large potholes are particularly dangerous. When visibility is low, drivers might be unable to avoid such holes in the ground, causing them to lose control of their vehicles and become injured in an accident. Swerving to avoid a large pothole is not always possible, especially if traffic is coming from the opposite direction.
Potholes in bike lanes might cause bicyclists to fall from their bikes or be pushed into car lanes. Pedestrians might trip and fall over potholes when crossing the street, making them vulnerable to sustaining additional injuries from oncoming cars.
In an attempt to avoid a pothole, a driver might unintentionally cause a multi-car collision involving drivers in various lanes of traffic. Potholes of any size can act as significant hazards to those on the road. Even small potholes could cause a car to move in an unsafe direction, leading to a severe collision that causes them injury.
Unaddressed potholes might more easily collect water and ice over in winter months, which could cause drivers to lose tire traction and become injured in an accident. The longer potholes are unaddressed, the worse they can become, especially when exposed to the elements and constant pressure from cars. If you become aware of a pothole in your area, inform the local municipality responsible for maintaining the roads near you.
What to Remember About Pothole Injury Claims in NY
If you were injured because of a pothole in a county in New York, there are certain things you should keep in mind. For example, your case will likely be subject to a different filing deadline than normal personal injury claims.
When suing a municipality or county in New York because of a pothole injury, victims will have 90 days to file a notice of a claim. This differs from the normal three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims against private individuals or companies. If you are unaware of this shorter timeframe and fail to file the notice before the deadline, you cannot recover compensation against a county in New York for a pothole injury. Rarely does the court allow extensions to this 90-day rule.
Once you have filed a notice of a claim, the municipality will have 30 days to request a preliminary hearing. During this time, the municipality might investigate your accident further.
After filing your notice of a claim, you will have one year and 90 days from the date of your accident to bring your lawsuit against the municipality responsible for your pothole injury.
From that point on, your claim against a municipality will operate in a similar way to a normal personal injury case. You must present evidence of the municipality’s negligence, your injuries, and your damages.
While you will have a shorter time to sue a county for injury in New York, you will not be limited regarding recovery. There are no caps on compensatory damages in claims against government agencies and municipalities. So, provided a victim can submit proof of damages and sufficiently prove a county’s negligence caused their injuries, they can recover the appropriate compensatory damages in their case.
Call Our NY Lawyers About Your Pothole Injury Case
You can call our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083 to have The Carrion Law Firm assess your case for free.