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In New York, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to file a claim against the responsible party to seek monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. However, if you are injured through the government’s negligence, you may wonder whether you can still take legal action to seek compensation for your damages. Please continue reading to learn that filing an injury claim against a municipality differs from filing a lawsuit against a private individual. In addition, contact a determined New York City Personal Injury Attorney who can help you understand your legal options. 

When can I take legal action against a government entity for my injuries?

If you are injured due to the government’s negligence, whether through a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, or some other type of incident, you have the right to file a claim against that municipality to collect compensation for your damages. However, you can only do so if you can prove that your injuries were caused by the municipalities negligence. It is critical to note that claims against the government are covered by the New York Court of Claims Act, that essentially stipulates that municipalities can be sued the same as private individuals.

How to File a Notice of Claim?

In New York, filing a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity differs from taking legal action against a private party. Generally, private parties have three years from the accident to file a claim against a negligent party. However, the statute of limitations is shorter when pursuing legal action against a government entity. If you want to file a lawsuit against a government entity, you must file your claim within 90 days of the accident. The timeframe is much shorter because you must file a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim is required because it informs the municipality of your intentions to file a lawsuit against them.

Should I consult an attorney?

As mentioned above, filing an injury claim against a government entity is more complex than filing an injury claim against a private individual. That said, it is in your best interest to retain the legal services of an experienced attorney who can help you file your Notice of Claim within the right timeframe to ensure you do not accidentally relinquish your right to take legal action against the government entity to recover monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

If you have been injured by government-owned transportation or premises, contact a competent New York City personal injury attorney from Swerling Law as soon as possible. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek reasonable compensation for their damages.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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