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How Can I Sue New York City?

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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In general, you can sue New York City if you were injured on city property. You can also sue if a city agent’s conduct or carelessness caused or contributed to the happening of your accident. You may be able to sue if you were injured by a New York City police officer who used excessive force.

The following are examples of incidents that can serve as the basis of a lawsuit against New York City: 

  • Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents on city property including public sidewalks
  • Traffic accidents with city vehicles (such as police cars, fire trucks, or garbage trucks)
  • Traffic accidents caused by improper construction or maintenance of a city street or roadway 
  • Negligence on behalf of city agents 

There may be other examples of claims against The City of New York not listed here.  If you have been injured and you want to discuss your rights, contact the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates at (212) 540-2981 for a free consultation.  Our lawyers have been fighting for the rights of injury victims since 1988. 

You Must File a Notice of Claim to Sue New York City

Even if you are not sure whether you want to sue The City of New York, you must first notify the City of your intention to file a lawsuit by completing a Notice of Claim, per NYS General Municipal Law Section 50-e. This must be done within 90 days of the incident in which you were injured. The document must include: 

  • Your name and address 
  • Your attorney’s name and address
  • Information about the type of claim you are filing
  • Details about the accident/incident in which you were injured
  • The time, place, and manner of the injury or accident
  • How much compensation you are seeking

Once the Notice is completed, it must be properly served on the City of New York.

It is crucial to meet the 90-day deadline. If you fail to do so your claim may be disallowed and you may permanently lose your rights to pursue your case and recover damages. 

The filing of a Notice of Claim against The City of New York must also be carefully completed so that it contains accurate information.  If you fail to include accurate information, your claim may also be disallowed.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified and experienced lawyer to ensure that your Notice of Claim is both filed on time and contains accurate information that protects your claim.  

Remember, the Notice of Claim only places the City on notice of your potential lawsuit and does not begin a lawsuit.  You must also file a Complaint against the City within 1 year and 90 days of your accident as will be discussed later.

Who Should Get Your Notice of Claim?

Our law firm can evaluate your case and determine who should get your Notice of Claim. The Notice of Claim must be submitted to the correct City entity.

For instance, claims against New York City hospitals and clinics must be filed with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Claims involving city housing units must be filed with the New York City Housing Authority. 

What Happens After You File Your Notice?

Once the City gets your Notice, they have the right to investigate your claim. The City may ask you to give testimony under oath to support your account of events. This is known as a 50H Hearing.  The purpose is to give the City an early opportunity to investigate, evaluate and possibly settle your case. It is generally not advisable to attend a 50H Hearing without a lawyer at your side.

At a 50H Hearing:

  • You will give testimony under oath about the facts of your case and injury. 
  • All questions and answers are documented for the record. 
  • You may be asked to submit to a medical exam. 
  • Your attorney will advise you and prepare you for the hearing and will be with you throughout the process.

 You cannot file a lawsuit against the City until the 50H Hearing is conducted. 

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 540-2981

There Are Legal Deadlines for Your Lawsuit

The New York Bar Association explains that you have a deadline to file a lawsuit against the City. This is called the “statute of limitations.” 

In most cases the time to start a lawsuit against the City of New York is one year and 90 days after the incident that caused your injury. The filing deadline is different for wrongful death lawsuits. In those cases, there is a two-year deadline, and the case can only be brought by the representative of the decedent’s estate. 

Certain exceptions could extend the time you have to file your case depending upon your special circumstances. Even if you feel that your time has expired, speak to a lawyer from our team to discuss your rights.

We’ve Been Serving Claimants Since 1988

The City of New York has teams of lawyers defending its interests. Once you file your Notice of Claim, they might reject your claim or they might try to persuade you to accept a very low amount of money for the injuries that you have suffered. Before you make any important decisions, speak to a lawyer first.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience fighting The City of New York. We have filed thousands of lawsuits against New York City since our founding. 

In one notable case,we secured a $31 million verdict for our client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident involving the NYC Transit Authority. Other cases include $6.3 million for a woman struck by a police motor scooter, $2.4 million for a bicyclist who struck a pothole, and $8 million for smoke inhalation victims caused by a garbage disposal fire in a City housing complex and many others. 

We are confident in our abilities to handle your case. Best of all, we do not require that you pay us any money upfront for our representative.  We only receive a legal fee when you recover compensation. 

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Connect With Our Law Firm Today

You can sue New York City if you were harmed due to negligence. However, the guidelines for suing the City are different than suing an individual. 

Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates has recovered over $500 million for our clients. To discuss your rights, call us today at (212) 540-2981.

Call or text (212) 540-2981 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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