We all have the right to file a personal injury claim when the owner of the property was negligent, causing an accident that led to someone getting hurt. This right extends to instances where the property owner or the responsible party was a government agency. However, municipalities, counties, and other public agencies or departments have a number of protections that can make suing them for damages complicated.
TonaLaw has extensive experience in these matters, and we can assist you with suing a municipality or suing a city for negligence. We assist you with filing your personal injury claim or another type of complaint against a government entity. We help you ensure that your claim has all of the right information, gets filed to the right place, and is backed up by the evidence you need to assert that your injury was caused by the government’s negligence.
Our municipal accident lawyers can provide legal representation in matters related to:
- Slip and falls or other injuries on public property
- Poor road maintenance
- Poor intersection design, or inadequate signage
- Car accidents, bus accidents, or truck accidents with a government vehicle
- MTA accidents
- Injuries caused by government contractors in the scope of their employment
- Injuries related to public agency negligence
If you have been hurt and you think that the city, county, state, or other public entity is to blame, you don’t have to be afraid of suing the government. You can speak to a Long Island municipal accident lawyer for free during a confidential, no-obligation initial consultation. Schedule your consultation now when you call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online.
What Are the Rules When Suing the Government or Filing a Lawsuit Against a Municipality in New York?
Public entities have, unsurprisingly, enacted a number of protections against liability through laws, regulations, and codes passed over the past few centuries.
The most important rule to remember when suing a municipality is that you are almost always required to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your injury-causing accident. If your injury was diagnosed several days or weeks after your incident, then you may still be restricted to the 90-day time frame from the estimated date when the accident initially occurred.
Government entities may be immune to liability in situations where another person or company was more directly at fault. For instance, if you are struck by a vehicle after an MTA vehicle forced it to change lanes, then the vehicle driver may be the one who bears the full brunt of liability, not the state agency.
Qualified immunity is another concept that can prevent municipalities and other government entities from being sued. This legal concept states that if the entity performed due diligence and could not have foreseen the risk of the accident happen based on their due diligence, then they are not liable for any damages that resulted. For example, if a poorly placed traffic light led to a pedestrian accident in the city of Hempstead but the city performed an extensive study evaluating possible designs, then they may not be held liable for the accident.
As you can see, suing a government agency or department can get quite complex. You must navigate a number of particular rules, and any mistake could result in your claim getting quickly dismissed.
Working with an experienced municipal accident lawyer team in Long Island can increase your odds of putting forth a successful claim and holding the government responsible for the harm they caused.
Proving Negligence: Four Main Showings
In order to prove that the city, state, county, or other government entity was at fault for your injuries and, thus, liable for their costs, you and your personal injury lawyer must usually show that the defendant was negligent.
Proving negligence requires four main showings:
- The defendant had a duty of careto protect the injured plaintiff from harm
- The defendant breached their duty, either by acting carelessly, failing to act in a way that could have prevented harm, or breaking an explicit rule or policy in a way that resulted in danger
- The breach in the defendant’s duty directly caused an injury (proximate cause) to the plaintiff
- The injury resulted in damages that can be recovered through the legal or insurance system
Many claims must also prove that the danger was somehow foreseeable by the allegedly negligent party. Otherwise, the defendant can say that they had no way to predict or prevent the risk. Typically, your attorney will attempt to prove that a condition was foreseeable by demonstrating express knowledge of the dangerous condition, or they will attempt to uncover a pattern of negligence that showed the dangerous condition was inevitable.
Other common defenses against government liability are that the plaintiff or another party was actually at fault for the injury. They can allege that the injury was not directly caused by any demonstrated negligence, too.
To combat these defenses, your personal injury lawyer will vigorously research your case, assemble all available evidence, and pursue all available legal avenues to the fullest extent that the law allows.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Be Your Ally when Suing the Government
Suing a public entity can be intimidating, but you don’t have to go it alone. You can work with qualified, experienced, and compassionate lawyers who want to give your case the best chance of success possible.
TonaLaw is a no-fee law firm – We get paid when we win your case!
To learn what your case could be worth and what your optimal strategy for suing a municipality or other public entity might be, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation now.