The idea of a property owner being held liable for injuries sustained on their property is definitely not a two-way street. While residential and commercial property owners are constantly wondering if they will be sued for a slip and fall accident, government agencies often find that they have legal immunity in cases where even government negligence can be shown.
Government Holds Homeowners Accountable For Repairs
NJ.com tells the story of homeowners in Highland Park, New Jersey who were sent unexpected notices by the city government to fix what the government considered to be dangerous sidewalks. In all, over 1,200 Highland Park residents have been told that they have 60 days to make repairs that could cost in excess of $300 per home.
The government has ordered the repairs despite the fact that there have been no recorded slip and fall injuries in the area.
The homeowners in Highland Park face serious fines and penalties if they do not make the repairs ordered by the local government. Even if those repairs are made, none of those homeowners would have legal immunity to a slip and fall lawsuit if someone were to fall on their property. However, it has been shown that government agencies may be immune when it comes to slip and fall accidents, even when the victim has a compelling case.
The Clock Moves Quickly In The State Of New York
When it comes to New York, filing a personal injury claim against the state of New York is not easy. When looking at personal injury cases in the state of New York against private individuals or commercial organizations, the statute of limitations can be up to three years. But, when it comes to actually suing the government, you have 90 days to file a claim against the state, city, or county just to have your case heard.
After filing your claim, you have one year to file your lawsuit against a city or county in New York State, provided the claim has been approved. If your claim is against the state, you have 90 days to file a claim and that claim has to go through a lengthy process before you can even think about it becoming a lawsuit. When it comes to suing the boroughs of New York City for your injuries, the clock moves quickly and your chances for winning can be marginal if you are not correctly represented.
Seek Compensation For Government Negligence
The average settlement for slip and fall claims in New York City from 2010 to 2014 was $789,600 per claim. The largest award was a $16.5 million settlement given to a New York man by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as a result of faulty maintenance to an MTA station.
While the MTA is not a government agency, it does operate with public funds and you can be sure that New York City monitors cases like this. If nothing else, this type of a settlement against a public-benefit corporation shows that, to some degree, boroughs can be held accountable for injuries sustained on their properties.
But what about the boroughs themselves? Are they liable for injuries sustained by private individuals on government property? The information that is available suggests that the boroughs may not be financially responsible for any injuries, but that should not stop people who have been injured due to government negligence from seeking the compensation they deserve in court.