Filing an Injury Claim Against the Government in New York

by ECL Writer
Injury Claim Against the Government in New York

When someone is hurt or sustains property damage due to the negligence of a government entity, they may be entitled to compensation. The process of seeking compensation from the government, however, can be complicated and often different from that of a standard injury claim against a private entity. In New York, there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed when filing an injury claim against the government. Understanding these rules and procedures is crucial for ensuring that the claim is handled fairly and effectively. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to filing an injury claim against the government in New York, including information on the relevant laws, time limits, and necessary steps to take in order to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. Whether you are seeking compensation for personal injury, property damage, or both, this Eastcoastlaws.com guide will help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of pursuing a claim.

Suing The Government For Negligence In New York

Suing the government for negligence in New York can be a complicated process, as the government has immunity from liability in many cases. However, there are specific exceptions under which the government can be sued for negligence. In New York, the state can be sued for negligence under the New York State Court of Claims Act if the claim arises from a highway defect or a tort committed by a state employee within the scope of employment.

To sue the government in New York for negligence, the plaintiff must first file a notice of claim with the appropriate state agency within 90 days of the incident. This notice of claim must include specific information about the incident, such as the date, location, and circumstances of the injury, as well as the names and addresses of any witnesses. The notice of claim must also include a demand for monetary damages.

Once the notice of claim is filed, the state has up to four months to investigate the claim and respond. If the state denies the claim, the plaintiff can then file a lawsuit in the New York State Court of Claims. This lawsuit must be filed within one year and 90 days of the incident.

In a negligence lawsuit against the government, the plaintiff must prove that the government owed a duty of care, that this duty was breached, and that the breach caused the plaintiff’s injury. Proving a breach of duty can be difficult in these cases, as the government is entitled to qualified immunity in many situations. This means that the government is protected from liability for actions taken in the performance of official duties unless it can be shown that the actions were taken in bad faith or with malicious intent.

What Is (and Is Not) Covered Under New York’s Court of Claims Act?

The New York State Court of Claims Act provides a specific process for individuals to sue the government for negligence or other torts committed by state employees within the scope of their employment. However, it is important to understand what is and is not covered under the Court of Claims Act.

What is covered under the Court of Claims Act:

  • Highway defects: If an individual is injured as a result of a defect in a state highway, such as a pothole or poorly maintained road, they may be able to sue the government under the Court of Claims Act.
  • Torts committed by state employees: If a state employee causes injury to another person while acting within the scope of their employment, the government may be liable for their actions. This can include things like car accidents caused by state employees driving government vehicles, or medical malpractice committed by state employees working in government-run hospitals.
  • Property damage: The Court of Claims Act also covers property damage claims against the state. For example, if state employees damage an individual’s property while performing official duties, the government may be liable for the damages.

What is not covered under the Court of Claims Act:

  • Federal government: The Court of Claims Act applies only to the state government and its employees, not the federal government. To sue the federal government, a different process must be followed.
  • Contract disputes: The Court of Claims Act does not cover disputes between individuals and the state arising from contracts or agreements. These types of claims must be brought in a different forum.
  • Intentional torts: The Court of Claims Act does not cover intentional torts committed by state employees, such as assault or battery. These types of claims must be brought in a different court.
  • Limitations on damages: The Court of Claims Act imposes limits on the number of damages that can be recovered. For personal injury claims, the maximum recovery is $10 million, while the maximum recovery for property damage claims is also $10 million.

To bring a claim under the Court of Claims Act, the individual must first file a notice of claim with the appropriate state agency within 90 days of the incident. This notice of claim must include specific information about the incident, such as the date, location, and circumstances of the injury, as well as the names and addresses of any witnesses. The notice of claim must also include a demand for monetary damages.

Once the notice of claim is filed, the state has up to four months to investigate the claim and respond. If the state denies the claim, the individual can then file a lawsuit in the New York State Court of Claims. This lawsuit must be filed within one year and 90 days of the incident.

Bringing A Claim Against a Local Government in New York

Even if they might have launched an identical claim against the state government, harmed parties could not for a long time in New York make claims against city governments. Claims that the local government should have stopped a fire or a crime that resulted in injuries were particularly frowned upon by New York courts.

According to a 2011 decision by the New York Court of Appeals, people in New York can only file lawsuits against local governments if they can demonstrate that the municipality owed the affected party a “particular obligation.” The aggrieved party must demonstrate any one of these three occurrences in order to establish a “special duty”:

  • The injured person belonged to a protected class of people, and the municipality or an employee violated a law protecting them.
  • When a “known, flagrant, and dangerous” safety breach was present, the city or an employee took “positive direction and control,” or
  • The injured person rightfully counted on the municipality or an employee’s voluntary performance of a duty, which was communicated to them through acts or promises.

Online instructions are available for making grievances against the municipal government in many of New York’s major metro areas.

Time Limits for Bringing a Claim Against the Government in New York

In New York, there are specific time limits for bringing a claim against the government. If you believe you have a valid claim for negligence or other torts committed by a state employee within the scope of their employment, it is important to be aware of these time limits to ensure that your claim can be heard.

  • 90 days for claims for personal injury or injury to property
  • 6 months for claims of breach of contract, and
  • 3 years for claims of state appropriation of land.

If the claimant is under guardianship or another type of legal disability, the time limit for filing the claim is two years. Learn more about the New York State Court of Claims (NY.Gov).

How Do I File A Claim Against The State Of New York?

If you have been injured or suffered damage as a result of the negligence or other torts committed by a state employee in New York, you may be entitled to compensation through the New York State Court of Claims. To begin the process, you will need to file a claim against the state. Here are the steps to take to file a claim against the state of New York.

  • Gather information: To file a claim, you will need to gather information about the incident, including the date, location, and circumstances of the injury or damage, as well as the names and addresses of any witnesses. You will also need to determine the number of monetary damages you are seeking.
  • File a notice of claim: The first step in the process is to file a notice of claim with the appropriate state agency. The notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the incident, and it must include the information you have gathered about the incident, as well as a demand for monetary damages.
  • Wait for a response: After you have filed the notice of claim, the state will have up to four months to investigate the claim and respond. If the state denies the claim or fails to respond within the four-month period, you can then proceed to the next step.
  • File a lawsuit: If the state denies your claim or fails to respond, you can file a lawsuit in the New York State Court of Claims. The lawsuit must be filed within one year and 90 days of the incident.
  • Attend court: Once the lawsuit has been filed, the court will set a date for a hearing. You will need to attend the hearing and present your evidence and testimony to support your claim.
  • Wait for a decision: After the hearing, the court will make a decision on your claim. If the court finds it in your favor, you will be awarded damages. If the court finds it against you, you may have the option to appeal the decision.

It is important to note that these time limits are strict, and a failure to comply with them can result in the loss of the right to bring a claim. If you believe you have a valid claim against the state of New York, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that your claim is brought within the applicable time limits.

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