How Do I Know If I Have A Valid Municipal Liability Claim?

Known to most native New Yorkers as “the city,” Manhattan is the smallest of New York City’s boroughs at 22.6 square miles, although it has the densest population. It hosts many cultural, financial, and entertainment centers, drawing millions of visitors yearly. On an average weekday, almost four million residents, commuters, and tourists are in Manhattan.

With so many people packed into a geographically small area, it’s easy to understand why accidents that cause injuries happen daily. Injuries occur for many reasons, and the victims deserve compensation. What if a government agency is responsible for these accidents? Can you file a claim? Cellino Law has answers and can assist you.

What Is a Municipal Liability Claim?

City, county, and state governments sometimes cause accidents. The responsible parties might be employees or agencies, like the transit authorities and police departments. These accidents might result from sidewalk defects, unrepaired hazards in city parks, city bus or train crashes, medical malpractice in one of the city’s public hospitals, or police misconduct.

Like private citizens, government agencies and entities owe a duty of care to the public. That means they must use reasonable care to maintain government-owned properties in a safe manner, take responsibility for the actions of their employees while on the clock, and provide proper training, for example.

Manhattan is bustling day and night, and hazardous conditions can develop quickly. After the appropriate officials are notified of these safety risks, it takes time to make repairs. The responsible government entity must inform the public about the hazards and fix them quickly.

If the responsible agency fails to post signs or otherwise notify the public or has sufficient time to make repairs yet doesn’t do so, that constitutes negligence. If you can prove that negligence caused your accident and resulting injury or other damages, you likely have a valid municipal liability claim.

Any claim against the government is complex. If you believe you have valid grounds, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. You only have a short time to initiate your claim, and your attorney needs time to investigate your accident and prepare your claim before the deadlines.

How Are Municipality Liability Claims Complex?

While you can seek compensation from government entities, they don’t make it easy. In fact, you must request permission by filing a notice of claim. You’ll have several hoops to jump through. When you hire Cellino Law to represent you, we’ll do that jumping for you.

Proving Negligence

While proving negligence is relatively straightforward for some accidents, that’s not always the case. A critical factor in some types of personal injury cases is when a responsible party knew about a safety hazard, and finding evidence can be challenging. To prove negligence, your attorney will show that:

  • A government entity owed you a duty of care
  • It breached that duty of care
  • The breach caused an accident
  • The accident injured you or caused other damages

If you trip and fall on a damaged sidewalk, for example, your lawyer will need to find out how long the damage has been there and when the New York City Department of Transportation became aware of it. Your attorney will also investigate whether the damage was cordoned off to prevent pedestrians from tripping.

Short Statutes of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a legally mandated timeframe for taking legal actions. In New York, you have three years to file personal injury claims in most cases. For most municipal liability claims, you must file your initial notice of claim within 90 days. You must then submit your claim within one year and 90 days.

If you don’t meet these deadlines, you’ll probably lose your right to seek compensation. Exceptions may apply, but it’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. We need enough time to prepare and submit your notice of claim.

Strict Protocols

Your notice of claim must include specific information. You’ll need to deliver it to the appropriate person or department following strict protocols.

What Kinds of Accidents Are Grounds for Municipal Liability Claims?

Manhattan has multiple government agencies responsible for its infrastructure. There are also public schools, transportation, parks, and hospitals. Examples of valid municipal liability claims include:

  • Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall: People can slip or trip on slick or uneven, damaged surfaces.
  • Medical malpractice: Professional medical personnel at a government-run medical facility may provide faulty patient care.
  • Transportation accidents: Manhattan offers many forms of public transportation, including buses and subways. The city must maintain each vehicle inside and out, along with stations and boarding platforms, and provide proper training to drivers and operators. These vehicles can also be involved in traffic accidents.
  • Police misconduct: Police officers may use unjustified excessive force or otherwise abuse their authority.
  • Public housing: The housing authority must make repairs and perform maintenance to ensure that public housing conditions don’t pose safety risks to residents and visitors.
  • Construction projects: Manhattan typically has multiple ongoing construction projects at any given time. Construction accidents may involve a government entity.
  • Malfunctioning traffic signals: Red lights and WALK/ DON’T WALK signals that don’t work correctly can cause pedestrian or motor vehicle accidents.
  • Improperly maintained roads, tunnels, and bridges: Potholes, falling debris, and weak supports might contribute to car collisions.

This list is by no means all of the potential municipal liability claims in Manhattan. Every accident is different, and their causes vary. Consult Cellino Law for a no-obligation case review to find out if you have a valid claim and what your options are.

What Should You Do After an Accident?

Regardless of the accident you experience, you’re in the right place to assist others and gather potentially crucial evidence. You should:

  • Assess your own injuries, then attempt to assist other victims.
  • Report your accident to the appropriate authorities.
  • Record photos and videos of your injuries, what caused your accident, witnesses and their statements, the locations of video surveillance cameras, and other details that may substantiate your claim.
  • Undergo a medical evaluation to protect your health and provide grounds for your personal injury claim.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney.

There are also a few things you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t admit any fault.
  • Don’t discontinue recommended medical treatments.
  • Avoid social media.
  • Don’t falsify evidence.
  • Don’t speak to the insurance company or government representatives or sign any documents before your attorney approves.

Doing any of these things may damage your claim. When you call Cellino Law, we’ll go over more do’s and don’ts. We will also tell you how much your case is worth and fight to obtain the maximum compensation you’re due. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. Let Cellino Law help with your municipal liability claim.

Are You Ready To Call Cellino Law?

Injured New Yorkers have relied on a Cellino Law Firm for more than 60 years for assistance with their personal injury claims. We tackle the most challenging claims, including municipal liability cases. We have won more than $2 billion for our clients through our dedication to fighting for their best interests.

Someone from Cellino Law can speak to you 24/7, so contact us now by calling (888) 888-8888 or submitting our case consultation form. You won’t owe us any fees until we win compensation on your behalf.

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