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Suing Government Agencies, New York City, and Local Municipalities in Slip and Fall Lawsuits

When accidents occur on property owned by the New York City government or a State of New York governmental agency, many victims can be left high and dry, simply due to certain immunity that these bodies have.

Even in cases of premises liability, government agencies enjoy immunity to many types of claims. This fact makes slip and fall accident cases involving government property particularly difficult to pursue. This in turn makes a fall accident victim’s life difficult, forcing injured New York residents to pay for their own medical expenses and cover lost wages out of pocket, even if the city was somewhat responsible for the fall.

What Immunity Does New York City & Governmental Agencies Have?

Cities, states, and towns are legally considered “municipalities,” and premises liability cases involving governmental agencies involve “municipal liability.” Bringing a case against the city or state presents numerous problems for an inexperienced attorney. But a lawyer with experience and skill, like those at Banville Law, can successfully pursue compensation for fall down accidents that occur on Government property.

Our New York municipal liability lawyers have pursued governmental responsibility for decades. In many cases, our lawyers have secured valuable verdicts and settlements from the City of New York and New York State. This does not mean every case will succeed. These cases are complex and the government defends them aggressively.

Related reading: Broken & Uneven Sidewalk Fall Accidents In New York: What Can You Do?

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Can I Sue The City Or State For My Accident?

There’s no short answer for this question. Suing the city or the state requires the expertise of a talented personal injury lawyer. But if care is taken, and particular tenacity employed, the answer is “yes.”

If the location where you were injured is the property of the State of New York, you must prove that the state or governmental agency had written notice of dangerous conditions before your accident. To win the claim, this notice must be in writing and must have been received within a reasonable period of time prior to your injury, in essence giving the government a chance to fix the problem.

For example, if you tripped and fell in a pothole, suffering severe injuries, the city would have had to have been informed of that pothole with ample time to make repairs. In our experience, that time frame is generally longer than one would expect a commercial property owner to act within.

City & Government Cases: Statute Of Limitations

Even if you cross the hurdle of written notice, you also have more stringent rules to proceed with a lawsuit against the state. A “Notice Of Claim” must be filed within a short period after the accident, and that notice period is different for each agency, but in general is 90 days for most agencies. Please note it could be shorter than 90 days so please do not rely on this information and consult a lawyer immediately for the time frame that applies to your case. A Notice Of Claim places the city on notice that you intend to file a claim against them. Then you must file that lawsuit  against the agency within the applicable statute of limitations.  The attorneys at Banville Law have built an impressive record of successful cases against cities and townships, and the State of New York. We know the time frames and procedural requirements. Our particular experience includes:

Potholes On City & State Property

If a City of New York or New York State governmental agency was made aware of a pothole on its property, and did nothing to fix it, they may be held responsible for injuries that result from their negligence.

In other slip and fall accident claims, especially those involving potholes on sidewalks, responsibility for a victim’s injuries actually falls upon an abutting landowner. An experienced lawyer will be able to determine who is responsible for your accident, and seek the maximum compensation no matter who is liable.

Proving premises liability negligence for accidents involving privately-maintained sidewalks do not require written notice. Instead, this domain of law is ruled by a concept known as “constructive notice.” Constructive notice only requires that a defect was left unattended for a period of time sufficient so that the responsible party should have known about it.

City & Government Owned Sidewalks, Steps, and Stairs: Can They Be Held Liable?

The same conditions apply for cases involving other property defects, including broken flagstones on New York City’s sidewalks. If the attorneys at Banville Law can prove that the city knew about these defects with the proper reasonable notice and did nothing, we can hold them responsible for their inaction.

Timely Action For Urgent Cases

Our municipal liability lawyers know well how important prompt action is in filing cases against the city or the State of New York. Strict time limits narrow a claimant’s options, requiring an attorney’s knowledge and forethought to correctly determine the right course of action, the first time.

Learn more: Can I Sue For Injuries After Falling In New York Parking Lot?

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