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NOTICE OF CLAIM REQUIREMENT

Before one can bring a lawsuit to collect damages against a city, town, or a public agency in the state of New York, a notice of claim requirement must be satisfied. A claimant has ninety days during which to file and comply with the notice of claim requirement or they will be barred from bringing the action. This is not the same as the statute of limitations.  The statute of limitations against municipalities is one year and ninety days as opposed to the normal statute of limitations for personal injury matters in New York which is three years.

One of the main purposes of the notice of claim requirement is to give the government a thirty-day time window upon receipt of the notice of claim to request a “50-H” hearing. This hearing is somewhat like a deposition and it is an advantage that non-government entities do not receive. It gives the government an extra opportunity to acquire information and testimony it may use to defeat a claim. The government may also request a medical examination during this thirty-day time period. Every municipality has the power to designate who must be served with the notice of claim and if the notice of claim requirement is not satisfied, the claim itself will be barred forever.  It is important to determine who it should be served on before attempting to serve a notice of claim.

It is advisable to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before attempting to comply with the notice of claim requirement. The barring of the action for failure to comply with the notice of claim requirement is a strict penalty and not worth the risk of attempting this task pro se.

Personal Injury Attorney

Retaining an attorney that understands the process of suing a municipality can make all the difference in your case. When you or a loved one are injured by the negligence of a municipality, you need a personal injury attorney who understands the process. Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Premises Liability

On September 15, 2016, in Personal Injury, Premises Liability, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Premises Liability

This article is intended to give some insight into some interesting New York caselaw with regards to premises liability.

Eischelbaum v. Douglas Elliman, LLC, 52 AD3d 210 – a real estate broker does not possess the required level of control over a property they are showing to be held liable for dangerous conditions on the property.

Johnson v. City of New York, 7 A.D.3d 577 – when a property manager is furnished with violent crime statistics by housing authority police, a question of fact exists as to forseeability of crime and the need for security.

Singh v. United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Inc., 72 AD3d 272 – where there is no exclusive service agreement for malfunctioning automatic elevator door for the premises, an issue of fact exists as to exclusive control and where premises liability lies.

These are a few of the issues that arise with premises liability actions in New York.  And the fact of the matter is that this type of personal injury action is very complex.  But, it is important to grasp premises liability concepts because not knowing where liability lies, can cost you a very lucrative award for injuries that are sustained at the premises.

The standard of care is that a landlord or property owner has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner.  Other factors that arise in these cases are the duty to warn, relationship of plaintiff to the property (tenant, licensee, etc.), forseeability, dangerous conditions, defects in design or construction and actual and constructive notice.

Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been injured on a piece of property owned by another person, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a personal injury attorney.

Slip and Fall Accidents in New York

On February 20, 2016, in Litigation, Personal Injury, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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Slip and Fall Accidents

In New York a “slip and fall” accident generally means that a person has slipped on a foreign substance (i.e. water, oil, debris, etc.). “To recover in a slip and fall action, a plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant (or his employees) failed to remove the hazard or foreign substance from the floor creating a dangerous condition, or that the defendant (or his employees) failed to warn the plaintiff of a dangerous condition that could not readily be detected. The defendant must either be actively responsible for the slippery condition—as, for example, where the defendant’s employee has applied excessive polish or spilled a slippery substance on the floor—or must have actual or constructive notice of the hazard.” See Khanimov v. McDonald’s Corp., 121 A.D.3d 1052, 995 N.Y.S.2d 191, 193 (2d Dep’t 2014). 3-27 New York Practice Guide: Negligence § 27.01 (2015). Often times, proving that the owner had “notice” is the most difficult aspect of “slip and fall” cases. Actual notice is an express statement detailing the condition. Constructive notice refers to the reasonable forseeability of the condition, inferred from the specific circumstances. Because the ability to prove notice will decrease over time, it is important to act quickly and seek the advice of an attorney if you are injured in a “slip and fall” accident.  An attorney who practices in the area of personal injury law would be best suited to answer questions and give direction on how to proceed in these cases.

Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have suffered an injury due to a “slip and fall” accident, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a personal injury attorney today!

Serious Injury Threshold in Personal Injury Cases

On June 14, 2014, in Personal Injury, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Often times in Personal Injury cases, the injury itself becomes an issue.  Not all injuries are sufficiently damaging to be considered “serious” under New York Insurance Law, section 5102(d).   The facts of each particular case will determine whether or not each claimed injury meets the threshold of a “serious injury” under this statute.  In order to cross the threshold and satisfy the statute, the nature of the injury itself must be a “permanent consequential limitation of use of a body  organ or member” or “significant limitation of use of a body function or system.”   These standards were interpreted by the Court in Toure v. Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., 98 N.Y.2d 345, 350, 746 N.Y.S.2d 865 (2002) and later strengthened by the Courts in Perl v. Meher, 18 N.Y.3d 208, 936 N.Y.S.2d 655 (2011) and Adler v. Bayer, 77 A.D.3d 692, 909 N.Y.S.2d 526 (2d Dep’t 2010).  Patrick Higgins, Esq. discusses the significance of these cases in great detail in The Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Action in New York State.

Understanding the categories of injuries and the way in which the law views each type of injury can be a daunting task.  It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney to help clarify any questions you may have about whether or not your injury will pass the threshold of a “serious injury” under New York Insurance Law, section 5102(d).

Just for informational purposes; there also exists a 90/180 rule.  This rule includes injuries that cause an injured victim to miss 90 out of 180 days from work.  This particular post is not directed towards explaining this category but it is important to be aware of.

As always, if you need assistance with any aspect of your Personal Injury case, including threshold questions, please call (516) 858-2620 to speak to a Personal Injury attorney today!

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