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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Is It Possible to Sue a County, City, or Government for Injuries?

If you have been harmed by the negligence of another, the law provides you a way to recover for your losses through bringing a personal injury claim. This is true whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident types. While you may know this is true when it comes to a private party’s negligence causing the accident, what about when a government entity is responsible for causing the accident? Let us discuss whether or not you can sue a county, city, or government for injuries.

Is It Possible to Sue a County, City, or Government for Injuries?

In the State of New York, the New York Court of Claims Act governs injury claims against the government. The Act allows for an injured party to sue the State of New York for negligence causing injuries by waiving the state’s sovereign immunity, protection granted to governing bodies. Because the New York Court of Claims Act waives sovereign immunity in injury claims, the State of New York can be sued for injuries just as a private individual or entity could be sued, albeit under different procedural requirements.

Beyond the State of New York, the New York Court of Appeals ruled back in 2011 that individuals have the ability to sue New York municipal government bodies for injuries if they can prove that the municipality owed the injured party a “special duty.” One example of a special duty may be if a municipality or municipality employee voluntarily assumed a duty and communicated such by words or actions to the injured person and the injured person was justified in relying on those words or actions.

There are a variety of incidences that may lead a person to bring an injury claim against a government entity. For instance, a government employee may have been negligently operating a vehicle while engaging in official duties. If this negligence led to a car accident involving injuries, the driver or the government entity employing the driver may be on the hook for damages. An injured party may also seek compensation for an injury sustained due to a dangerous defect in a public building. Perhaps the flooring was in disrepair, there were poor lighting conditions, or stairways were obstructed by clutter and a person was injured as a result of a slip and fall. If there was no warning given to property visitors or no attempts to remedy the dangerous condition, the injured party may pursue compensation for harm suffered.

There are, however, important and distinctive procedures for bringing claims against the government, including different time limits on a person’s ability to bring the claim. In general, these kinds of claims will be filed in the New York Court of Claims and a claimant will have 90 days to file a claim for injury to person or property. Should you pursue a claim against a municipal body, the action is likely to be filed with the Supreme Court or County Court and the municipal entity must be timely served with a notice of your claim.

New York Personal Injury Attorney

Have you been injured on government property? Was a government employee responsible for causing a car accident that left you injured? Time is of the essence. Do not hesitate to reach out to the trusted team at the Law Office of Ryan Goldstein. Contact us today.


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