If you were injured and the liable party is New York City or its municipal agencies, you must remember that New York law requires that you provide municipalities and municipal agencies a written notice of an incident and the intent to pursue a claim within 90 days of the incident. This written document is known as a “Notice of Claim” since you are giving the municipality (a governing body of NYC) or municipal agency notice that you intend to bring a claim. If you fail to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your accident, you lose the right to file a lawsuit.
In a case, involving a municipal (City of New York) defendant, a 54-year-old man was injured when he stepped into a sunken sewage basin that was hidden by leaves. As a result of this accident, he suffered a severe femur fracture. The injured man was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he underwent a surgery and was hospitalized for almost two weeks.
The injured man timely filed a Notice of Claim and then sued the City of New York and its municipal agencies for damages sustained as a result of the accident, including past and future pain and suffering. Generally, the City of New York may not be subject to liability for injuries originating from a dangerous roadway or sidewalk condition unless it has received prior written notice of the dangerous condition, or an exception to the prior written notice requirement applies. Here, the injured man produced evidence that over the course of several years the defendants received multiple complaints, both oral and written, regarding the fault and had sent a number of inspection crews to the site. The plaintiff (injured man) argued that despite such notice, the defendants negligently failed to repair the fault that caused the incident. The plaintiff further argued that since leaves covered the basin, he could not reasonably have observed the fault and was not negligent. The defendants denied that they had the necessary prior written notice and pointed out that various inspection crews had identified the sewer basin that needed repair at different locations within the intersection. The plaintiff countered that although the records contained inconsistencies, they all identified the sewer basin with the same unique tag number. He argued that the tag number is similar to a VIN number on a car in that it is unique and would allow for the identification, irrespective of other descriptions.
The plaintiff required an open reduction surgery and the insertion of hardware to stabilize and heal his fracture. During the open reduction surgery, orthopedic surgeons repositioned his bone fragments, so that they were back in their proper alignment. Internal fixation refers to the method of physically reconnecting the bones. This might involve special screws, plates, rods, wires, or nails that the surgeon places inside the bones to fix them in the correct place. This prevents the bones from healing abnormally.
The plaintiff claimed that the injury was very painful, and despite an extended course of physical therapy, he continues to suffer frequent swelling of the knee and a severe limp that necessitates the use of a walker. He claimed that he needed a knee replacement because the injury caused a progression of traumatic arthritis. However, because of a heart condition, he could not have the surgery. The plaintiff claimed that the severe pain, limp and need for a walker, were permanent and that the pain and limp may well become more severe as he becomes older.
The injured man was extremely patient during the litigation process and his case settled during trial for $1,950,000.00. If you were injured, you must understand that the litigation process is complex, and the legal system is designed to protect everyone's rights, including the parties you are suing. Your case is the only opportunity you will have to receive compensation for your injuries, so be patient and let the process run its course.
We, here at the Platta Law Firm, are the ones to be trusted as we understand all of the above and know a lot more on how to strengthen and win your case.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an accident, please reach out to us for a free legal consultation by calling us 24/7 at 212– 514–5100, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting our law firm in lower Manhattan (42 Broadway, Suite 1927). You can also ask us questions through the 24-hour chat box on our website (www.plattalaw.com). We offer free consultations for all potential personal injury cases.