Can You Sue the Government for Negligence in NYC?
Many accidents throughout New York City happen on private property. People slip on floors in restaurants and other businesses, and people become injured by dog bites on private premises. Accidents are not entirely limited to private property, though. In some cases, the negligent party is a government entity. For example, a car accident that happened due to improper road conditions is a result of government negligence because they are responsible for creating and maintaining good roads.
If you have suffered an injury due to a negligent act, or failure to act, on the part of a government agency, you may be able to file a claim for damages. These claims are much more complex than other types of personal injury claims, though. If you or someone you love has been hurt, a New York City personal injury lawyer can provide the sound legal advice you need.
What is Sovereign Immunity in Personal Injury Claims?
An element of claims against government entities that is not present in other personal injury cases is sovereign immunity. This is a very old law that started in medieval England. At that time, people were prevented from suing the king for any injury or other loss that was caused by a sovereign’s decree or action. There have been several amendments made to this law over the years, which have allowed certain types of lawsuits to be filed against government entities.
Although some of the changes made to the law over the years have favored accident victims, others have made it more difficult for them to file a claim. One change has favored government employees in regards to the protection and immunity they enjoy. If a driver is working for a government agency and causes an accident, for example, they may have immunity and victims may not be able to hold them liable even though they were to blame.
Additionally, there are also certain limits placed on the amount of financial compensation accident victims can receive when filing a claim against a government employee or entity. It is not uncommon for only those with a very strong and compelling case to claim any damages at all. A New York City personal injury lawyer can build a strong case so you can claim the full settlement you deserve.
Your Right to File a Lawsuit Against a Government Entity in NYC
Government vehicles, such as city buses, have been involved in many accidents that have injured and killed many New Yorkers over the years. This is also just one type of way in which innocent people become hurt by government entities. It is not uncommon for accident victims to wonder if they have the right to file a claim for compensation for their injuries.
It is possible to sue a government entity for your injuries or wrongful death, but the process is extremely complex. To successfully claim the compensation you deserve, you have the burden to provide proof that shows the government entity was at fault for the accident you were involved in.
Filing a claim against the city government sounds fairly straightforward, but the process is not. The process is very difficult and requires you to overcome some significant obstacles. Even the smallest mistake made in your case could result in it being dismissed. It is perhaps never more important to work with an NYC personal injury lawyer who has the necessary experience with these types of claims.
Under Article II, Section of the New York Court of Claims Act, government entities have waived any immunity from lawsuits that are a result of the agency’s misconduct or negligence. This section of law also states that the government has given consent to be sued in the same manner as other individuals and private citizens. This law is important because it eliminates complete sovereign immunity from what it historically said.
Filing a Notice of Claim
If you wish to sue the municipal government, you must notify the appropriate agency of your intention to sue for the injuries you sustained due to government negligence. Generally speaking, the information this notice includes is as follows:
- Your name and address
- The name and address of your attorney
- Details regarding how the accident happened
- Where the accident took place and at what time, specifically
- The nature and extent of your injuries and other losses sustained
You must file your Notice of Claim when filing a suit against New York City within one year and 90 days of becoming injured. After you have submitted your notice, the municipality then has 30 days to start an investigation and to ask for a hearing. During the preliminary hearing, you may have to confirm your injuries through a physical examination of testimony from your doctor. There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are very limited. Even when you qualify for an exception, you must file your claim before the statute of limitations used in other personal injury claims expires.
The Statute of Limitations in Claims Against the Government
In most personal injury claims that are filed against private citizens, the statute of limitations, or time limit, is three years from the date of your accident. If you do not file your claim before this time, you will forfeit your right to claim any financial compensation at all.
However, the statute of limitations in claims against a government entity is much shorter. If you are hurt due to government negligence, you have only one year and six months from the date of your accident to file your claim.
Call Our New York City Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
You can file a claim for compensation against a negligent government entity, but the process is not easy. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our personal injury lawyers in New York City have the necessary experience with these claims to overcome any challenges they may present. If you have been hurt, call us now at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.