Home | Personal Injury | Can You Sue the City of New York for Negligence?

Can You Sue the City of New York for Negligence?

Jul 24, 2023 | Personal Injury

In the event you were hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the economic and non-economic damages you incurred. But sometimes, an accident is not the fault of an individual or a private company — rather, a municipality, such as New York City, might be to blame. In these cases, you may be able to sue the City of New York to hold it accountable for negligence. However, it’s important to be aware that there are specific procedures and deadlines that must be followed which are different from those involved in suing a private party.     

What Types of Claims Can You Bring Against the City?

A wide variety of personal injury claims can be brought against the City. For example, if a car accident was caused by a hazard on a city road that the Department of Transportation had received notice about but failed to repair, the City might be liable for any injuries that arise as a result. Similarly, if the car crash was caused by the driver of a government vehicle, such as a city sanitation truck or bus, the City can be named in the lawsuit.

Other claims that may be brought against the City can include those involving the following scenarios:

  • Slip and falls in public parks
  • Trip and falls on City-maintained sidewalks
  • Injuries suffered in a City hospital 
  • Potholes in the roadway
  • Injuries incurred on NYCHA property
  • Accidents in public schools

Additionally, the City of New York may be partly liable for an accident that occurs in a subway or bus station — and in some cases, it should be a named party in a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). 

How Long Do You Have to Bring a Claim Against the City?

Although the City has sovereign immunity from lawsuits, it waives this protection if it gives consent to be sued. In order for the City to give its consent, a plaintiff must comply with certain procedural requirements — specifically, a timely Notice of Claim must be filed and if requested a statutory hearing called a 50-h hearing must be held. 

Critically, there are much shorter statutes of limitation in place to bring a personal injury claim against the City of New York. You only have 90 days to serve a Notice of Claim on the City, along with any other agency or public authority that might be liable for your injuries. If you fail to do so, you will be barred from bringing a legal action against the City (there are exceptions). 

The City also has the right to conduct an investigation into your claim once it has received notice. As part of this process, it will hold a 50-H hearing, which is similar to a deposition. At the hearing, you will be required to testify under oath and answer a variety of questions about how the accident occurred, the extent of your injuries, and the type of medical treatment you are receiving. Following the hearing, the City has 30 days to make you a settlement offer.  

A lawsuit against the City of New York must be filed within one year and 90 days from the date of the accident. This statute of limitations is substantially shorter than the one that applies to victims of negligence injured by private citizens or corporations in New York, which is three years.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

Suing the City of New York or a City agency is complex. If you were hurt due to the negligence of the City, it’s essential to have an attorney by your side who has extensive experience handling these types of cases. The attorneys at The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP have the skill, acumen, and knowledge necessary to prosecute a lawsuit against the City of New York and other municipalities. Due to our efforts, candor, integrity, and commitment to clients, we regularly secure substantial verdicts and settlements on their behalf against the City of New York. In fact, our firm secured a 36 million dollar settlement in a lawsuit against the City of New York for a construction worker who was gravely injured while working a sewer project for the City of New York

The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.  




  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Here’s the hard truth: lawsuits are a huge time investment and can be difficult and since we don’t get paid unless you win, we only take cases we believe in and know we can win so we don’t waste your time, or ours. Then we give it everything we’ve got.