Who Can I Sue?

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Who Can I Sue?

Who can I sue? Do you have questions about how to sue someone in New York or how to file a lawsuit in NYC? 

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of others, filing a suit can help you take back the situation and recover the compensation you deserve for economic loss and suffering. Before you do, however, you need to answer one simple question: Who can you sue? The answer depends on the specifics of your case, including who is liable for your injury as well as where the accident occurred.

Injured at Work? How to Sue or File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer

Under New York law, you can only collect damages for medical expenses, lost wages and some other expenses related to your accident. You cannot sue your employer for pain, suffering, or emotional damage stemming from the loss of a loved one. However, you may be able to file a third-party claim against someone other than your employer to recover this compensation.

A third-party injury claim seeks compensation for pain and suffering from a negligent party other than your employer. For example, if you get in a New York car accident while on the job, you can sue the negligent driver for financial damages. If you want to sue City Hall, you must file a Notice of Claim.

When Do You Have to File a Notice of Claim?

When you sue City Hall. In New York, many accidents end up as lawsuits against a city, town or municipal agency. However, you must be very careful in filing a claim against a city as special rules apply and if you fail to follow those rules, the courts will not hear your case and you will be left with nothing. Figeroux & Associates are personal injury attorneys and we advise most victims to seek the help of an attorney. We have won and settled many cases against New York City, the New York Transit Authority and other municipalities and municipal agencies. We normally would advise someone who has a potential case against the City or other municipality or municipal agency to consult a personal injury attorney. However, some people want to do it themselves and for those people, we offer the following information. After reading this information, you may opt to consult a personal injury attorney.

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When Do You Have to Send a Notice of Claim? 

Here are some examples of cases that require a Notice of Claim:
•You are hit by a bus owned or operated by a municipal agency
•You trip and fall in a City building
•You are subject to a false arrest
•You fall on a bus or a subway or at a bus, train or subway station
•You suffer malpractice in a public hospital
•You slip and fall on ice in a City parking lot
•You are hit by a car owned by a town and driven by a town employee
•Your child is injured at a public school
•In each of these cases and ones like them, you must file a notice of claim.
•Every city, town, village and municipal agency in New York is entitled to a Notice of Claim. Municipalities include entities as large as the City of New York and Yonkers as well as the many small villages that dot Long Island. Some examples of municipal agencies entitled to a Notice of Claim include:
•All school districts, including the New York City Board of Education.
•All public transportation agencies, including the Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, New York City Transit and New York City buses.
•All public hospitals, including hospitals operated by the City of New York.
•All public nursing homes
•All public health clinics
•All fire departments and fire districts

Where Do You Have to File a Notice of Claim? 

You must send the Notice of Claim to the designated recipient. Each municipality and municipal agency will designate the person or office who should receive the Notice of Claim. If you send the Notice of Claim elsewhere, it will not count. Many municipalities designate the Town Attorney or the Town Clerk as the person who must receive the Notice of Claim. When in doubt, you should contact the municipality or municipal agency and ask. You can try the Legal Department and they should provide the name and address where you need to file your Notice of Claim. Some municipalities require that you serve the Notice of Claim via certified mail. I recommend that you use certified mail in all cases.

Here are some online municipalities: New York City: All Notices of Clams in New York City must be served upon the City Comptroller’s Office. They have an online form that you can reach by clicking here.

New York City Transit Authority: All Notices of Claim must be served at 130 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

New York City Housing Authority: All Notices of Claim must be served on the Housing Authority’s Claims Department at 250 Broadway, New York, New York 10007

Nassau County: Serve Notices of Claim on the Nassau County Attorney’s Office 1 West Street, Mineola, NY 11501.

Suffolk County: Serve Notices of Claim on the Suffolk County Attorney’s Office 100 Veterans Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788

Filing a Notice of Claim in New York: A 90 Day Deadline New York law gives municipalities and municipal agencies the right to receive a written notice of an incident and the intent to pursue a claim within 90 days of the incident. If you fail to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days, then you lose the right to file a lawsuit.

There may be certain exceptions to this rule and you should consult an attorney if you think your case qualifies for an exception.

What Must I Put into the Notice of Claim?

Section 50-e of the General Municipal Law specifies that the Notice of Claim must include the date, time and exact location of the incident. For example, I filed a recent notice with the Port Authority for a client who fell on a stairway. I made sure to specify the exact stairway where she fell. You should also include a brief description of the incident. Your description needs to provide enough information so that the incident can be investigated.

You can purchase a Notice of Claim form at many stationary stores. When I prepare a Notice of Claim, I include five sections:

List the name and address of the claimant Describe the nature of the claim, naming the claimant and the defendant and briefly describing what happened.

Describe the date, time and place of the incident. You need to provide as precise a location as possible.

Describe the damage and injuries suffered. This description should be general and address physical injuries, damaged or lost property, lost wages and other losses. You need not include dollar amounts. Therefore, it is sufficient to say that the claimant lost income without saying how much.
A description of the total damages sought. This must include a dollar amount. Put in an amount that will exceed the total amount you could possible seek.

The Notice of Claim must be notarized before submitting it. I always send the Notice of Claim via certified mail so I have a record that it was served on time. If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence or recklessness of a city, town, village or municipal agency in New York and you want to pursue compensation for damages, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your accident.

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