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What if I’m injured and it’s New York’s fault?

When you’re injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you have a lot to deal with. Aside from the physical pain you suffer, there can be emotional trauma and financial issues due to the accident. On top of that, you have to decide whether to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. But what if the party at fault is the government?

Can you sue New York?

The short answer is, yes, you can sue New York. All governments have the option to prevent lawsuits against them – it’s known as the doctrine of sovereign immunity. No state can be sued without its consent. Fortunately, New York has waived its immunity and expressly allows private citizens to file personal injury lawsuits against it when it is to blame for causing an injury.

This policy covers everything from buildings which the government is responsible for to car accidents involving government employees. For instance, failing to properly maintain a building, so that a person visiting it suffers an injury, can be negligence by New York and subject it to a lawsuit. The same goes for car accidents involving government vehicles. If the government employee is negligent and causes an accident, the injured party can sue New York to recover compensation for their injuries.

You must act quickly

Although New York allows itself to be sued, it does not give you much time to do so. For normal personal injury lawsuits, when a private person or entity is being sued, you have up to three years to file. But when the suit is against New York, it must be filed in only 90 days. And there are different procedural requirements which must be followed, complicating matters even further. A personal injury lawsuit is a powerful tool available to those who are injured but, when it’s against New York, there is no time to delay.

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