Do I have a Case Against a Municipality, Such as a County, Town, or City?

Do I have a Case Against a Municipality car accidentIf you are injured in a car accident due to the negligence of someone else, time is always of the essence.

Claims for personal injury are subject to various “statutes of limitation,” which restrict the time period in which you can file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, you will be forever barred from bringing a claim.

The statute of limitations period will vary depending on the nature of your claim and the party against whom it is being asserted.

For example, generally speaking, a claim of negligence against a private actor in New York is subject to a three-year statute of limitations while a claim of intentional assault against a private actor is subject to a one-year statute of limitations. Please be aware that these sample limitations periods serve as examples only and should not be construed as legal advice relative to your particular situation.

In order to identify the appropriate statute of limitations period for your situation, you should consult a lawyer.

When you seek to assert a claim against a municipality, such as a county, town or city, the limitations period will be modified. In addition, there will be a notice of claim requirement that will require formal legal notice of the potential claim well before the expiration of the limitations period. This can be a very treacherous territory, and it often requires the analysis of a car accident lawyer.

When you retain a car accident lawyer, he or she can address your particular situation and identify all available claims, together with the corresponding statutes of limitation and any notice of claim requirements. Below are some general considerations your car accident lawyer may look at when making the assessment.

Notice of Claim Requirement

If someone wants to commence a civil lawsuit against a county, city, town, village, or other government agency for damages because of negligence and some other types of conduct, that person must file a Notice of Claim with the county, city, town village, or other government agency. Different rules, outlined in the Court of Claims Act, apply to claims against the State of New York.

The Notice of Claim must contain certain essential information, so it is generally a good idea for a car accident attorney to draft one on your behalf because it must be filed within a short time period. Failure to timely file a complete Notice of Claim can be devastating because any lawsuit filed will likely be dismissed. Fortunately, if the time frame to file a Notice of Claim has passed, it is still possible to ask the court for permission to file a late Notice of Claim. The court has discretion to permit or disallow the filing of a late Notice of Claim based on a variety of factors, including the underlying merit of the claim, whether the municipality had actual knowledge of the essential factors underlying the claim, and whether the late notice prejudiced the municipality.

The better practice is to have the Notice of Claim filed well before the expiration of the deadline, so you do not have to ask for permission to file a late one.

50-h Examination under Oath

Once the Notice of Claim is filed with the municipality, its attorney may serve notice of a General Municipal Law 50-h Examination under Oath, which allows that attorney to ask the claimant questions under oath before a court reporter. The municipality can waive this right if it fails to request the examination within a certain time period.

Statute of Limitations

Claims against a municipality are generally subject to a shortened statute of limitations period. This means that you have less time to file a lawsuit against a municipality, or an employee acting in the scope of his/her employment for a municipality, than you would have against a private actor. This exact time frame will depend on the specific facts of your case, but generally speaking the statute of limitations period will range from one year to one year and 90 days from the occurrence. The statute of limitations period may be “tolled,” or paused so to speak, if the claimant is an infant.

Hurt In A Car? Call William Mattar.

If you believe you may have a claim against a municipality, such as a county, town, or city, there are notice of claim and statute of limitations periods to keep in mind. The personal injury attorneys at William Mattar law offices are experienced in identifying potential claims against municipalities and take the steps necessary to protect you. Call our car accident attorneys today and they will review the facts of your particular case 844-444-4444.