Public vs. Private Property Slip-and-Fall Cases: Key Differences in New York City

Slip-and-fall injuries can lead to complicated legal cases depending on where the fall occurs. How do you get the money to cover your expenses? In many cases, you can seek compensation through a premises liability personal injury lawsuit. However, the procedure – and deadlines – can vary significantly depending on whether the accident happened on private property or government property.

Overview of Premises Liability

Premises liability law addresses the legal responsibility of the owner or occupier of the property where an injury occurred due to an unsafe condition. To bring a successful claim for your injuries and financial losses, you must demonstrate that you were lawfully on the property, that the property owner negligently handled an unsafe condition on the property, and that you were harmed as a result.

What Are the Main Differences Between Cases Involving Public or Private Property?

You could be entitled to pursue money for the losses related to your slip-and-fall injury, regardless of whether you fell on private or public property. If you were injured from a slip and fall on private property, you can pursue a claim against the responsible party and their insurance company. You have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit.

However, the way you initiate a claim against a government entity in New York is different from pursuing your claim directly against a homeowner or private business.

  • Notice of Claim – If you were injured on city property, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the date of the fall. Once 30 days from the date you filed the notice of claim have passed, and you attend any required hearings, you can proceed with filing a lawsuit in court. You must file your lawsuit within 1 year and 90 days after the fall.
  • Government Responsibilities – Once a notice of claim is filed, the city will investigate the claim. If the city determines it is responsible for your injury, the Comptroller’s Office can offer you a settlement. However, if you accept the settlement offer, you must agree not to pursue your claim against the city in court.
  • Federal Tort Claims Act – If your injury occurred on federal property, you can file a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. To bring a valid claim, you must show:
    • A federal government employee caused your injury.
    • The employee was acting in their official capacity.
    • The employee’s actions were negligent or wrongful.
    • The negligent or wrongful act caused your injury.
  • Types of Public Property – A few examples of common types of publicly owned property include:

Why It’s Important to Seek Legal Advice

Because of the legal complexities in slip-and-fall cases, you should contact our personal injury lawyers as soon as you can after your fall. At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we want to talk to you about your case and explain your rights. Contact us today to speak with a New York City slip-and-fall lawyer in a free consultation.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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