After being injured by a private party, you can sue the negligent party for damages. However, what happens if you are injured due to the negligence of the state or a government agency? While it is possible to file a claim against the government, the procedural requirements are different when compared to an action against a private party.

NYC subway cars

Sovereign Immunity 

Ordinarily, the state or government agency is protected from liability under the legal concept of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine that makes it so victims and their families cannot sue the government for negligence unless the government has consented or waived its protection. However, New York State has sovereign immunity protection for those injured in public transportation accidents, so long as the injured party complies with certain requirements. 

Notice of Claim

If an individual is suing the state, the case will be heard in the New York Court of Claims. To begin a case, an individual must file a claim with the Clerk of the Court. After the claim is filed with the Court Clerk, a copy must be served on the Attorney General. If an individual is suing a municipal corporation within the state, the case will be heard in the Supreme Court or in the County Court. However, the municipal court must be served with a notice of your claim before the personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Whether the injured party is suing the state or municipal corporation, the claim must be filed within ninety days. But if the injured party misses the ninety-day filing date, they may ask the court for leave to file a late notice. 

A Notice of Claim is a written document that is sworn before a notary public, which informs the government of a victim’s injury or death. Section 50-E of the Consolidated Laws of New York states that a notice of claim must include the following information:

  •  the name and post-office address of each claimant, and of his attorney, if any; 
  • the nature of the claim; 
  • the time when, the place where, and the manner in which the claim arose; and
  • the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained so far. 

After a Notice of Claim has been filed, the government has thirty days to request a hearing. The victim will typically be required to testify under oath during the hearing. Only at this time may the victim or the victim’s estate may file their suit. However, the suit must be filed within one year and 90 days of the victim’s injury, or within two years of the victim’s death if a wrongful death claim is included in the lawsuit.

When Must You File a Notice of Claim?

Below are some instances that require a Notice of Claim:

  • After being struck by a bus operated by a state agency.
  • After falling in a building owned by the City.
  • After slipping on ice in a city parking lot.

Furthermore, every municipal agency in New York requires a Notice of Claim. Municipalities include institutions as large as the City of New York and the many small villages around Long Island. Examples of municipal agencies which require a Notice of Claim include:

  • All public transportation agencies, including the Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, New York City Transit, and New York City buses. 
  • Public health clinics and nursing homes.
  • All school districts, including the New York City Board of Education.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

At TonaLaw, we understand the pain and difficulties our clients go through after they have been injured. Whether your injury is the result of another’s negligence or a workplace injury, we can help you recover medical costs, lost income, and most importantly, peace of mind. 

With over twenty years of experience, our office is familiar with the deceitful tactics insurance companies utilize so they can pay you less than you deserve. However, at TonaLaw, our clients know their attorney is working tirelessly to get them the settlement they deserve. 

For these reasons, you need a New York personal injury attorney who will ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. For legal services ranging from personal injury and no-fault collections to business litigation, call TonaLaw toll-free today at 1(833) TONALAW or text 1 (631) 780-5355. 

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