Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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Can I Sue the City of New York for Personal Injury?

New-York-City-scaledIn New York City, accidents and injuries are, unfortunately, all too common. For those injured on city property or due to the actions of city employees, the question arises: Can the City of New York be held liable through a lawsuit?

If you’ve suffered an injury and believe the City of New York is at fault, you may consider filing a lawsuit under some of the following conditions:

  • Traffic accidents involving city-operated vehicles, such as buses or police cars.
  • Faulty public infrastructure, such as defective roadways or bridges leading to accidents.
  • Police and correction facility actions, including instances of excessive force or wrongful arrest that result in injury
  • Slip and fall accidents on negligently maintained city sidewalks or properties.

Filing Requirements: Notice of Claim

To initiate legal proceedings, a “Notice of Claim” must be filed within 90 days of the incident. This notice is essential; failing to file within this period generally bars you from pursuing a lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

Once the Notice of Claim has been filed, plaintiffs have one year and 90 days from the date of the incident to commence a lawsuit. It’s critical to meet these deadlines to preserve your legal rights.

Proving the City’s Negligence

Successfully suing the city requires proving negligence. This means showing that the city knew, or should have known, about the hazardous condition and failed to correct it within a reasonable timeframe. This often requires gathering substantial evidence, including maintenance records, witness statements, and expert testimony.

Insights from Recent Claims Data

Brad Lander, the New York City Comptroller recently released the Annual-Claims-Report for the fiscal year 2023.

Among all claims filed against the city of New York, personal injury claims were the most frequently filed, with a total of 18,895 claims. This represents a 24 percent increase compared to the 15,202 claims filed in FY 2022.

Costs and Settlements

Personal injury claims were also the costliest of all claims filed against the city, accounting for $733.3 million or 99 percent of the $739.6 million paid out on all settled tort claims for the year. The average settlement and judgment cost of a personal injury claim was $134,656, showing a five percent increase from FY 2022. However, the median settlement decreased to $15,000 in FY 2023 from $18,000 in FY 2022 and $20,000 in FY 2021.

Claim Types and Payouts

The most frequently filed types of personal injury claims were related to police actions (5,092 claims), correction facilities (4,118), and sidewalk incidents (2,350). The five costliest types of personal injury claim settlements were for motor vehicle claims ($173.7 million), civil rights claims ($145.4 million), police action claims ($93.1 million), school accidents ($70.6 million), and sidewalk issues ($53.5 million).

High-Value Claims

There were 139 personal injury claim payouts of one million dollars or more, which accounted for $365.3 million and represented 50 percent of the total personal injury claim settlements paid out in FY 2023.

Geographical Distribution

The Bronx had the highest number of personal injury claims filed, with a notable concentration of claims, partly due to the location of Rikers Island facilities. This borough also reported the highest per capita filing of personal injury claims.

Potential outcome

Successful lawsuits can yield compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, among other damages. However, litigating against the city is complex and outcomes can vary greatly.

Legal Assistance

Due to the complexities of such lawsuits, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial. An attorney skilled in navigating the city’s legal defenses can provide invaluable assistance in managing deadlines and formulating a compelling case.

While suing the City of New York for personal injuries is possible, it requires navigating a maze of legal requirements and a robust demonstration of the city’s negligence. The rising number and cost of claims underline the city’s exposure to such lawsuits. For those injured, obtaining seasoned legal counsel is essential to understand your rights and assess the viability of your case.