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Suing the State or a Municipality for Your Personal Injury

Sometimes your personal injury may be caused by the negligence of the State of New York or a municipality. But suing the government is not is not the same as suing other defendants. Because there are strict notice requirements, time is of the essence. Here are some things you need to know about suing the government in New York.

  • If you are suing the State of New York (or one of the state’s authorities), your case will be heard in the New York State Court of Claims. To start the case, a claim is filed with the Clerk of the Court (along with $50), and a copy must be served on the Attorney General. Generally speaking, negligence, intentional tort and wrongful death claims must be filed with the court 90 days after the accrual of the action.
  • If you are suing a “municipal corporation” in the state, the action itself is brought in the Supreme Court or County Court. However, before the personal injury lawsuit can be filed, the municipal court must be served with a notice of your claim. Just like a claim against the state, the claim must be filed within 90 days. However, rather than filing it with the court, the notice is filed with the municipal corporation itself.
  • In both instances, if you miss the 90-day filing date, you can ask the court for permission to file a late notice. However, there are certain factors that the court must consider when deciding whether to grant the motion, and permission to file the late notice is not guaranteed. If you believe you have a claim against the government, the best thing to do is contact an attorney immediately.
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