Most people know that they can bring an injury claim against another person. If your neighbor fails to tell you about a dangerous condition in their house, and you are injured due to that dangerous condition when they have you over for drinks, you know you can likely sue them for causing your injury. What if the government is responsible for causing your injury? What if your injury occurs on public property? What are your options?
What Kinds of Injuries Qualify for Personal Injury Claims Against the Government?
Generally, if your injury is due to the negligence of a government agency or public employee, you may bring a personal injury suit. Common examples of personal injuries caused by the government that Scaffidi & Associates successfully litigates on a regular basis include:
- Slip, trip and fall accidents
- Bus and subway accidents
- Automobile accidents with city employees
- Police misconduct/brutality
- Malpractice against public hospitals
- Claims for injuries to students at school or during after school programs
- Hazardous conditions (exploding pipes and manhole covers)
- Other negligent acts
How Do I Go About Suing the Government?
First and foremost, you need an experienced attorney. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a government is complicated, and not something you should do on your own. Scaffidi & Associates are experts in bringing personal injury claims against the government and can help talk you through your options.
Next, to file a civil lawsuit for damages for personal injury, pain and suffering, or property damage against a government agency or public employee, you must file what is known as a notice of claim within 90 days of when the accident occurred, if it is a local government, or a notice of intention to file a claim if your case involves negligence by the State of New York. Each of these documents basically notify the government that you were injured because of their conduct and provides details as to the cause of the injury.
What Happens After I File a Notice of Claim with the Government?
In a case against a local government, it has 30 days after you serve them with the notice to investigate what happened. Typically, this is a two-step process. First, government lawyers will ask you questions about the accident under oath. Second, the government may ask you to undergo a medical evaluation conducted by a physician of the government agency’s choosing. Claims against the State have a different set of rules that apply.
My Case is Pretty Straightforward. Why Can’t I Represent Myself?
The last thing you want to do in a personal injury case against the government is represent yourself. Governments have teams of attorneys, investigators, and claims adjusters working for them, which means they automatically have an unfair advantage over victims. Moreover, when the government deposes you (asks you questions under oath about the accident) they may ask you questions designed to elicit answers more favorable to their case, without you even realizing it. The same is true for the government’s medical examiner: they are employed by the government, so have more loyalty to the government, and their exam results are likely to reflect that. You need an experienced attorney who can recognize when a question is prejudicial to you and ensures you are well-represented.
Injured by a Government Agency or Agent in New York?
Were you injured as the result of a government agency or agent? You have options. Contact Scaffidi & Associates today to learn what steps you can take to get the compensation you deserve.
Posted in: Personal Injury Law