Can I Sue New York City If I Trip and Fall on a Pothole?

2 Mins read

If you have sustained injuries after tripping and falling on a pothole in New York City, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the liable party and seek compensation. The liable parties that you can hold accountable may include a property owner, a business owner, or even a homeowner. In addition, you can hold the City of New York, governmental organizations, and municipalities accountable for your accident. For instance, if NYC owns the property where your accident happened, it can be held liable in your personal injury lawsuit. Furthermore, if the building that abuts the sidewalk where you were hurt is a one to three-family home occupied by the owner for residential purposes only, then you can pursue compensation from the NYC government.

What you need to sue NYC for your injury

According to Section 7-201(c)(2) of the NYC Administrative Code, if you have been hurt as a result of a pothole in New York City, you can successfully file a lawsuit if one of the following is true:

  • If the Commissioner of Transportation was given written notice of the pothole.
  • If there was a previous injury to someone or damage to property as a result of the same pothole and a written notice about it was submitted to the city agency.
  • If there was a written acknowledgment from the city about the existence of the pothole and it was not repaired, removed or the area made safe within 15 days after the receipt of the notice.

If one of the conditions is met, you will need to act quickly because time is of the essence. This is because, if you are filing a lawsuit against NYC, you only have ninety days from the day the unfortunate accident occurred to file a notice of claim. The notice of claim informs the local government that they are taking legal action against it. After the notice of claim has been filed, you only have one year and ninety days from the accident date to file your lawsuit. Pursuing legal action against the city or a governmental organization is very different compared to suing an individual property owner. This is because government agencies have a wide range of financial and legal resources, have certain immunity, and have a lot of experience when it comes to fighting off allegations of negligence.

Therefore, to successfully secure compensation, you will need to hire a very experienced attorney immediately to represent you. Furthermore, since time is a very crucial factor in determining whether your lawsuit will be successful, your attorney will begin working on your Notice of Claim immediately, as well as conduct investigations on the scene of your accident to collect evidence before any repairs are made.


In conclusion, you can definitely sue NYC for violating their duty of care to you by failing to fix a hazard in a public place and by not providing a safe environment. However, you will need to act quickly since the statute of limitations for your case is shorter compared to personal injury cases.

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