Can You Sue the City of New York for Injuries Caused by Police or City Employees?
In any situation where some other person or entity’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct caused you bodily harm, you likely have the ability to pursue legal action to recover damages. This right does still apply in situations where the responsible party was an agent of the City of New York, provided that you meet certain procedural requirements.
These procedural requirements start with providing notice to the relevant government body of your incident and intention to sue. Notice must be given accurately and promptly to be valid. Following the notification phase, you may be asked to testify at a special hearing even before you file your lawsuit. These steps are meant to intimidate, so you should always have the help of legal counsel throughout the process.
If you need help obtaining just compensation from the City of New York, the New York personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm are here to help. This starts with a free initial case assessment when you call our offices today at (718) 841-0083.
Situations Where the City of New York May Be Liable for Your Injuries
Generally, companies are responsible for the negligent or reckless actions of their employees while on the job, and government entities are no different. If a government entity caused you to sustain a personal injury, you have the ability to name the City of New York in a lawsuit to recover damages.
Cases like these may arise in a variety of circumstances. You might have sustained an injury from slipping and falling on poorly maintained public property or been involved in a traffic accident with a vehicle operated by a government employee (such as a bus or garbage truck). You may have been the victim of excessive force used by government agents such as law enforcement officers. These and other instances of personal harm inflicted by an agent of the City of New York may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit.
What Do You Need to Do to Sue the City of New York for Your Injuries?
Whenever a personal injury victim has a claim against a municipal entity, such as any of the departments housed within the City of New York, bringing a lawsuit is going to be slightly more complicated. There are a number of additional steps you must address in these cases, which our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys have outlined below.
Whether or not you ultimately decide to sue, you must provide notice to the City of New York of your intentions to retain your ability to take legal action. This is done through the completion and submission of a Notice of Claim form, under New York State General Municipal Law Section 50-e. You must complete and submit your Notice of Claim form within 90 days of the date of the accident that caused your injuries.
To be valid, your Notice of Claim form must be submitted to the appropriate entity within the City of New York. As an example, if you were involved in an accident involving a city street cleaning vehicle, you would file your Notice of Claim with the New York City Department of Sanitation, whereas if you were the victim of excessive police force, your Notice of Claim should go to the New York Police Department.
You must have certain information on hand to complete your Notice of Claim form. This includes your own name and address, the name of your New York personal injury attorney, details about the incident and resulting injuries, the time and location at which the incident took place, and what you are seeking in terms of compensation.
It is critically important that all of the information that you include in your Notice of Claim form is complete and accurate. Even a simple mistake can provide grounds for your claim to be disallowed. You are permitted to have the assistance of a Staten Island personal injury lawyer in preparing your Notice of Claim form so that you can avoid any honest but costly errors.
Appear at a Hearing
Upon receiving your Notice of Claim, the City can and typically will investigate the allegations contained in the form. This may include calling you to testify under oath about your experience. This is done through what is called a “50H Hearing.” Every response that you provide at your 50H Hearing will be recorded and used in your lawsuit should you choose to proceed. You may also be asked to participate in a medical exam as part of your 50H Hearing.
You are permitted to have a Queens personal injury attorney by your side to represent you throughout the process of the 50H Hearing. You should never provide any testimony to an official body without the preparation and help of seasoned legal representation.
File Your Complaint
Filing your Notice of Claim is not the same as filing your actual lawsuit. It is merely to notify the City of New York of your incident and injuries so that they may attempt to investigate early and potentially offer a settlement deal. However, to properly bring your case to court, you still must subsequently file your formal complaint in a New York court.
In New York, every potential plaintiff in a civil lawsuit must obey the statute of limitations, which provides deadlines on how long you can wait before you can initiate your lawsuit. While the general statute of limitations for New York personal injury lawsuits is three years, the deadline for suits that name a municipal entity within the City of New York is much shorter.
Generally, you only have a year and 90 days from the date of the incident to file your actual complaint in court. While certain exceptions may exist that can extend this period of time, courts take the statute of limitations seriously, and missing the applicable deadline for your case will likely lead to you losing out on having your day in court.
Therefore, our Long Island personal injury lawyers urge you to act on your claim as soon as possible to avoid such an unfortunate result in your case.
We Can Help You File Your Personal Injury Claim Against the City of New York
When you call the seasoned Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today, you can benefit immediately from our offer of a free first-time case assessment. Learn more today by calling (718) 841-0083.