In personal injury actions, we often hear people say, “well, I’ve got 3 years to sue for my injuries”, but that isn’t always the case, it depends on who you are bringing your claim against. In New York, generally, if you have a valid personal injury claim against a private corporation or a private person for a car accident, construction accident or a trip and fall, the statute of limitations to bring that personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of the accident.
However, if the case involves the City of New York or a Municipal entity, for example, the New York City Transit Authority, the MTA, NYCHA, the statute of limitations and the deadline to file and bring those claims is shorter, more complex and more and failing to comply with those deadlines and requirements can be fatal to your claim.
If you are bringing a claim against the City of New York or against a municipal entity for, let’s say, a trip and fall on City property, slip and fall in a subway station, ceiling collapse in a NYCHA apartment or a construction accident at a New York City Schools project, you must act fast and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Why?
Notice of Claim:
To bring a claim against a City agency or municipal entity, you must file what is called a notice of claim within 90 days of your accident. YES, within 90 days of your accident!! There are very limited exceptions to the 90-day notice of claim requirement, and in certain circumstances, a late notice of claim can be filed, but it’s never guaranteed, and that’s why it’s crucial that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss all of these requirements.
Once the Notice of Claim is served properly on the City agency or Municipal entity, they have 30 days to serve a request upon you or your attorney for a 50H hearing. What is a 50H hearing? A 50h hearing is simply an opportunity for the City or Municipal entity to question you under oath in relation to your accident and injuries so that they can evaluate your claim at that early stage. This doesn’t happen if your case doesn’t involve a City or Municipal Agency. The hearing is very similar to a deposition. For more information on what a deposition is, see https://www.injurylawatty.com/what-is-a-deposition/
Filing the lawsuit:
From the date of your accident, you have one year and 90 days to institute or to start your action against the City of New York or a Municipal entity. It’s important to emphasize that the notice of claim requirement and 50H hearing go hand in hand with the 1 year and 90 days statute of limitations:
- If you do not file your notice of claim within that 90 day period, you can’t simply save yourself by filing the lawsuit within 1 year and 90 days.
- If you do file your Notice of Claim within 90 days and the City or Municipal entity serve you or your attorney with a Notice for a 50h hearing within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Claim, and you fail to appear for your 50h hearing, you have failed to comply with a requirement that is necessary for you to start your lawsuit and can be fatal.
To recap, if you’re injured in a personal injury accident, and the Defendant or the location of your accident involves in any way the City of New York or a Municipal entity, you need to be aware of the following:
- From the date of the accident, you have 90 days to file a Notice of Claim.
- If the City or Municipal Defendant request a 50h hearing within 30 days of receiving your claim, you must attend that hearing in order to be allowed bring an action.
- From the date of the accident, you have 1 year and 90 days to start your lawsuit once you have complied with the Notice of Claim and 50h requirement.
Consult with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney!!
Therefore, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident and any personal injury accident for that matter. When your case involves the City of New York or a Municipal entity, that piece of advice rings through even more because the notice requirements, notice periods and the statute of limitations are shorter, and the rules and requirements governing those claims against New York’s public agencies and municipal entities are very complex and diverse. Without the assistance and the expertise of an experienced New York Personal Injury Lawyer, the case could be over before it has started for you.
Don’t take any risks and jeopardize your right to fair compensation, or as we like to call it, MOOREJUSTICE.
Instead, contact our experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Darren T. Moore P.C., today for a free comprehensive case evaluation.