Municipal liability

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Including Cases against Cities and City agencies.

What is Municipal Liability? When a person is injured by the negligence and carelessness of a municipality or one of its agencies, there is a claim for damages. These are typically cases against the state, county, city, town, or public authority. However, there are special laws and rules for successfully prosecuting a case against a municipal defendant, and these rules must be followed to have a successful case. One of the most important rules is the short time limit for filing a claim and a lawsuit. It is best to consult a knowledgeable attorney regarding a claim, such as the lawyers at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers.

The short time period for bringing a claim against a municipality

A claimant must file a Notice of Claim for their accident within 90 days of its occurrence. This notice must include:

  • Your personal information;
  • Your attorney’s information;
  • A description of the accident and where it specifically took place so that it can be easily identified;
  • A description of your injuries;
  • A list of damages you are seeking.

If the Notice of Claim is not timely filed, a request to the court can be made for permission to file a late Notice of Claim but granting the request lies within the court’s discretion. Once a Notice of Claim is filed, the municipality has a right to question the claimant about the accident. This is commonly referred to as a 50-h hearing. There is also a short time limit on filing a case against the municipality, which is one year and ninety days of the occurrence.


Premises Liability — Perhaps the most frequent type of claim against a municipality involves a sidewalk defect such as a crack, hole, broken and uneven concrete, or missing concrete. Generally, the city must have prior notice of the defect before being held liable. Claims can also be made when a person slips and falls or trips and falls at buildings owned by the municipality, such as schools and some hospitals. These accidents can involve wet floors, broken floor tiles, dark staircases, and staircases without handrails or with improper handrails.

Here are some common types of claims against municipalities:

  • Dangerous Streets and Sidewalks – Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents due to uneven pavement, potholes, and other hazards
  • Faulty traffic lights, highway maintenance failures, and faulty roadway design can be caused by municipal negligence.
  • Snow, ice, and water hazards left on city-owned or operated premises for unreasonable periods of time can also be municipal negligence.
  • Police misconduct — Injury and wrongful death that results from the use of excessive force or false imprisonment.
  • Hospital negligence— Malpractice at any municipal hospital. An example is any New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation facility.
  • Public school liability — If an injury occurs on school grounds or involves school personnel due to hazards at school facilities or the negligence of any school employee. Improper supervision of students.
  • New York City Housing Authority negligence— In New York City, claims involving dangerous conditions in public housing.
  • Transit accidents— Subway, train, and bus accidents. When a hazardous condition is caused by the negligence of a municipal agency that operates our transit system, there is a case. The agency could be the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Authority, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or MABSTOA.
  • Municipal vehicle accidents — Traffic accidents involving a vehicle owned or leased by a municipal agency or authority. Accidents involving police, sanitation, or fire vehicles

Suing New York City for Injury or Death

Navigating the claims system with a large municipality like the City of New York can be daunting for an injured person. It is best to call the experienced liability lawyers at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. We will help you with your claim and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Do not try to do it yourself. One mistake in the process can cost you your case. Identifying the appropriate agency can be complicated and can be fatal to your case if done incorrectly.

What Compensation Can You Recover?

The damages an injured person can recover against a municipality are the same as any personal injury case. Those damages include both economic and non-economic damages.

For economic loss, a plaintiff can recover for one’s past lost earnings from the date of the accident to the date of the verdict.  They can also recover for the future lost wages that they will expect to suffer from the inability to work.

Medical expenses are recoverable. Damages could also include both past and future medical expenses, including medication, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, and physical therapy.

Finally, for non-economic damages, an injured person can recover from the pain and suffering from the accident.  This includes both the injury and resulting treatment and the impact and loss of enjoyment of one’s life.  A jury can award both past pain and suffering that you suffered and the future pain and suffering that you will suffer during your life.

Contact Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

An injury can be emotionally and physically devastating. Michael J. Asta, Esq. is one of New York’s leading accident attorneys with over 500 Million Dollars recovered for clients and over 30 years fighting for New Yorkers like you. You can be confident that the legal team at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers is fully committed to winning the best possible results for our personal injury clients and their families. If you’ve been injured, call Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 244-6555 or complete the contact form here on our website so we can help you. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis meaning there is no fee until we obtain compensation on your behalf, guaranteeing you’ll never come out of pocket.

Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, Where Quality Representation Doesn’t Cost, It Pays.

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