OUR NEW YORK CITY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS ANSWER OUR CLIENT'S FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHO DO I SUE IF THE BROKEN SIDEWALK WAS IN FRONT OF A BUILDING?
If you suffered a personal injury because you tripped and fell on a broken sidewalk, pothole or defective portion of the sidewalk, you can file a lawsuit for your injuries. However, who you can sue based on a number of factors. In New York City, which is the five boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, sidewalk accident cases are covered under the New York City Administrative Code, which places the responsibility to maintain the sidewalk, on property owners. In other words, it is the responsibility of property owners to maintain and repair the sidewalk in front of their business. If the property owners fails to maintain and repair the sidewalk and you get hurt, they can be sued to compensate you for your personal injuries. There is an exception for single family homes and two family homes, but any large commercial property owner is responsible to maintain the sidewalk that runs alongside their property. So if your trip and fall occurred on a broken sidewalk that runs alongside or in front of a commercial property, our personal injury lawyers will make claim against the owner of the building for an accident that occurs.
CASES AGAINST NEW YORK CITY What Do I Have To Do To Sue The City?
If you suffered personal injuries in a trip and fall accident on a broken sidewalk that is not in front of a commercial property, or a one or two family home, which is not covered by the New York City Administrative Code, then you would have to bring a claim against the City of New York. Our New York City trip and fall lawyers know that City of New York claims are more complicated than cases against commercial property owners.
When you sue the City for a sidewalk accident, there are a lot more loopholes you have to jump through. Under New York municipal law, anyone injured because of the City’s negligence has to file a notice of claim with the City of New York within 90 days of the accident to preserve the right to sue. These notices of claim are filed with the New York Corporation Counsel's office, which is located at 100 Church Street in Manhattan Once you file that notice of claim, you then have a year and 90 days to bring a lawsuit. If you tripped and fell on the sidewalk outside of a business, you do not have to file a notice of claim. The only exceptions are if you fell outside of a property which is owned by the City of New York or a property owned by a public authority, such as the New York City Transit Authority, the Port Authority, New York City Health and Hospital Corporation or some other public benefit corporation or authority.
CAN I STILL SUE THE CITY IF IT DID NOT
FILE A NOTICE OF CLAIM
If your case requires a notice of claim within 90 days of the occurrence and you did not file the notice of claim, then you have to to go to court and get special permission to file a late notice of claim. The purpose of the notice of claim law is to allow the City to investigate your case, so the Court will consider several factors in determining whether you allow you to file a late notice of claim. These factors including whether the City had notice of the accident. If there is a police aided report, that documents your accident was caused by a broken sidewalk, that often helps prove notice. Also if there has been no repair of the accident scene and it is still in the same condition, that also helps show that the City was not prejudiced by the late notice of claim, because they can still investigate the defective condition because it is in the same condition.
Our New York City accident lawyers have won these motions on countless occasions for clients that come to us after the time in which they were supposed to file a notice of claim. But you should hire an experienced New York City sidewalk lawyer as soon as possible because whether the motion is very late or a little late is a factor that the Courts consider.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO SUE? The Answer Depends On Who You Are Suing
THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AGAINST THE CITY OF NEW YORK
If the responsible party is the City of New York, the New York City Transit Authority, the Port Authority, or a School Construction Authority, you only have 90 days to file a notice of claim. After filing the notice of claim, a lawsuit must be filed within a year and 90 days of the occurrence.
THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AGAINST PROPERTY OWNERS AND CONTRACTORS
Against a general property owner, the statute of limitations is three years. However, if it is a minor who is injured in a trip and fall, the statute of limitations for the lawsuit is stalled and doesn't start to run until the person turns eighteen years old.