Suing a municipality, such as the state, county, city, town, transportation authority, utility authority, or an incorporated village to recover damages for personal injuries can be a trap for someone who does not regularly handle these cases. There are landmines every step of the way, and you typically have a very short period of time – typically 90 days (but that is not true in every case) – to file a notice of claim before you can bring a lawsuit.
Some examples of claims that can be brought against municipalities and other public entities include: slip/trip-and-fall accidents on sidewalks or in parks; injuries or deaths caused by roadway defects; auto accidents caused by a municipal employee in the course of his/her employment; medical malpractice, as many hospitals are publicly operated; and accidents involving a commuter train, subway, or a condition in a transit station.
The first step in a municipal liability claim is to make sure you retain a lawyer who practices in this area of the law, as it is not always clear who to sue. There are many different agencies in the state of New York with different names, and it can be incredibly confusing determining who or what is responsible for the happening of an accident. Most importantly, claims against municipal entities must be noticed immediately, and there are strict penalties for not filing claim within the proper amount of time enumerated by law.
There are many other pitfalls only an experienced municipal liability claims lawyer will know how to avoid. Our office has prosecuted thousands of claims against municipal entities, and our lawyers are ready to answer any questions you might have about these types of cases.