Under certain circumstances, you may be able to sue the city if you trip and fall on a pothole in New York City. To determine this, the first step is to decipher, who owns the property that contained the pothole. If the City of New York does not directly own that property, you will have to file your lawsuit against the owner.
One exception to this is on properties where the building that abuts the sidewalk is a one to three family home occupied by its owner and functions as a residence. If that is the case, then you may sue New York City for your accident.
What is Required to Sue New York City for Your Injury?
However, even in cases where New York City directly owns the property where the accident transpired, there are still certain hoops that you and your New York City slip and fall lawyer must jump through to file a successful lawsuit. Under Section 7-201(c)(2) of the New York City Administrative Code, to successfully pursue legal action– at least one of the following must be true:
- Written notice of the pothole was given to the Commissioner of Transportation
- There was a previous injury to a person or property as a result of this pothole, and written notice of it was provided to a city agency
- There was written acknowledgment from the city of the existence of the pothole. In addition, there was a failure within 15 days after the receipt of such notice– to repair or remove the pothole, or the place made reasonably safe
These Standards Are Not Easy to Meet
If at least one of these three conditions is not met, then your case could be dismissed before it even gets off the ground. There appears to be an incentive to shield New York City as much as possible from being liable for trip and fall accidents on local potholes– so the bar for any potential plaintiffs to clear has been set very high. Having a firm with qualified New York City personal injury lawyers who are experienced at handling these cases can be crucial when investigating the New York City Department of Transportation’s files to determine whether any of these three elements were met.
There is no Time to Waste
It should be noted that even if at least one of the above conditions is met, time is still of the essence, so you must act quickly. If you are suing New York City, you have just 90 days from the date of the accident to file a “Notice of Claim,” which notifies the local government that you are pursuing legal action against it. Once it has been filed, you then have one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.
Why Do You Need an Attorney?
The sooner that you hire a slip and fall attorney to represent you, the better. They can begin working on your Notice of Claim immediately, but they can also immediately investigate the scene of your accident to memorialize the area before any repairs can be made.
Contact us for a free consultation
At Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C., we have been serving New York for over half a century. We understand that legal needs do not only arise during regular business hours, and for that reason, you can reach one of our experienced attorneys 24 hours a day when you call.
If you have been injured in a trip and fall accident on a pothole in New York City, call now to schedule your free consultation. Zero costs are assessed to you unless you win.