Filing a Notice of Claim Against NYC

When attempting to sue a Municipality or Government Agency, one must be aware of the concept of sovereign immunity. A city, county, the State of New York or other agency of government cannot be sued unless they consent to the suit being instituted. The requirement in New York is the filing of a Notice of Claim.

A Notice of Claim must be filed within a specific period of time or a lawsuit cannot be filed. Customarily that time period is 90 days. See the chart below for the exact timing.

A Notice of Claim must at a minimum contain the following:

  • name and address of the party filing the claim and of the attorney representing the party filing the claim;
  • the nature of the claim (what happened) including the precise time, place, and location of the accident;
  • the nature of the injuries;
  • the damages sought;
  • the document must be verified, that is, sworn to.

A document of this significance should in the first instance be drafted by an experienced municipal liability attorney. The Notice of Claim serves as the first notice that the Municipality has of the accident and it is designed to give them a heads up on which department or agency is involved and some information about the accident. Too little information may serve to void the document, too much could work to the claimant's detriment at a later stage of the proceeding.

Additionally you must file the Notice of Claim with the right municipality or agency. Filing in the wrong place will make the Notice of Claim void and you would not know until after the 90 day period had run its course. On some rare occasions a Court may permit the filing of a late Notice of Claim, but it is best to comply with the appropriate deadlines immediately after the accident.

Once a Notice of Claim has been filed, the governmental entity will acknowledge the claim and has the right to request a statutory hearing which requires the injured claimant to answer questions under oath at an oral deposition. Additionally, the injured claimant may be required to submit to a physical examination by the entity's physician. This is all BEFORE the commencement of a lawsuit.

Do not confuse the filing of a Notice of Claim with the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is the time frame in which a lawsuit must be filed after you meet the minimum requirements of filing the Notice of Claim. Our experienced New York lawyers can guide you through this complex and confusing process. Contact us online or call us toll FREE at 866-502-9091 .

TABLE OF DEADLINES FOR NOTICE OF CLAIM and STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

AGENCY

FILING OF NOTICES OF CLAIM

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS TO START A LAWSUIT

City of New York

90 days

1 year and 90 days from accident

NYC Transit Authority

90 days

1 year and 90 days from accident

Counties outside of NYC

90 days

1 year and 90 days from accident

MTA

90 days

1 year and 90 days from accident

NYC Health and Hospitals

90 days

1 year and 120 days from accident

NYC Housing Authority

90 days

1 year and 120 days from accident

NYC School Construction Authority

90 days

1 year and 30 days from accident

Port Authority of NY and NJ

At least 60 days before action is commenced

1 year from accident

TBTA (Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority)

90 days

1 year and 30 days from accident

There are dozens of other Agencies, Authorities, Municipalities Commissions, and Boards which have different requirements. The above limitations apply only to tort cases. Cases involving wrongful death may have other requirements. The above list is meant only as a guide and may change from time to time.

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