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The Importance of a Notice of Claim in a Municipal Lawsuit in New York

October 26, 2014 Legal Terminology

When you are suing a municipality in New York State for personal injury, you have to fill out and submit a notice of claim. This piece of paper puts the municipality on notice, informing them that you intend to file a lawsuit against them. This notice enables the municipality to carry out a small investigation into the matter and find out whether your case has any merit. This notice of claim is very important because if you do not file this notice as per the specific requirements, it can be dismissed, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against the municipality.

Requirements for a Notice of Claim

In the notice of claim, you have to include certain important things, which are:

  • Date and time when the incident occurred
  • Where exactly the incident occurred
  • How the incident occurred
  • What type of injuries you suffered because of whatever it was the municipality did improperly or fail to do

This notice will then have to be signed by you and notarized as well, before submission.

Where to Submit a Notice of Claim

New York Muncipality

Suing governmental agencies is a tricky affair but can be done. 

Submitting the notice of claim to the proper authority is very important. There are many types of municipalities in New York State. The place could be a municipal town, a county, or it could be New York City. This has to be done correctly because when you serve this document to the wrong authority or entity, your case is over. This is because you have not given the correct municipality the notice or opportunity for investigating the matter and for determining whether your case is valid.

There is a pre-requisite or specific requirement in municipal cases, where you are required to file the notice of claim first, and provide the municipality an attempt to investigate, and then only when a certain amount of time has elapsed, you will be permitted to file a lawsuit. All these steps and requirements are important, because if you do not follow them your claim will not be entertained and you will not be permitted to file a lawsuit.

An Uphill Battle

Filing a personal injury case against any government body is challenging, as there are specific rules to be followed. In the state of New York when you are claiming compensation from a municipal body, your first step would be to submit a notice of claim with the required information. Your notice should clearly state when and where the incident happened, how it happened, what your injuries were, and why you feel the municipality is responsible for what happened.

Attention to Detail

Secondly, this notice of claim has to be submitted to the proper authority, and it could be quite confusing because there are many municipalities in New York. If you address the notice to the wrong municipal department, you will not even have the chance of filing a lawsuit, because the correct municipality will not be aware of your case.