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What is Required for a Notice of Claim in NY?

March 21, 2024

Navigating the legal requirements of New York State can often seem like a daunting task, especially when it involves initiating a claim against a municipal entity. One crucial step in this process is the filing of a notice of claim, a procedural requirement that serves as a preliminary action before a lawsuit can officially proceed. Understanding what is required for a notice of claim in New York is fundamental for anyone seeking justice or compensation from government agencies or public entities.

What is Required for a Notice of Claim in NY?

What is a Notice of Claim?

A notice of claim is a legal document that must be filed by an individual or entity intending to sue a municipal body in New York. This requirement is crucial for cases involving personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death attributed to the negligence or wrongdoing of a government entity or its employees. 

The notice serves to inform the respective body about the intent to pursue legal action, providing details about the claim and allowing the government to investigate the merits of the case before it reaches court.

Requirements for a Notice of Claim

The content of a notice of claim is dictated by specific legal standards that ensure the municipal entity has clear and adequate information to assess the claim. Key requirements include:

  • Claimant’s Information: Full name and post office address of the claimant and their attorney, if any.
  • Nature of the Claim: A concise statement of the nature of the claim, articulating the grounds upon which the claim is based.
  • Time and Place: The time when, and the place where the claim arose, detailed with as much precision as possible.
  • Injuries and Damages: A statement of the injuries and/or damages claimed to have been sustained, providing an itemization if possible.

Additionally, New York law generally requires that the notice of claim be filed within 90 days from the date of the incident, a stringent deadline that underscores the importance of prompt action following an injury or damage.

Filing Process and Procedures

Filing a notice of claim involves several procedural steps that must be followed meticulously:

  • Preparation of the Notice: Drafting the notice of claim to include all required information and ensuring its accuracy.
  • Verification: The claim must be verified by the claimant or their legal representative, affirming under oath that the information provided is true to the best of their knowledge.
  • Service: The notice of claim must be served on the appropriate municipal entity. This is typically done through registered or certified mail, ensuring proof of delivery.

Failure to comply with these steps or to accurately provide the required information can jeopardize the validity of the claim.

Consequences of Failing to File a Notice of Claim

Failing to file a notice of claim within the stipulated timeframe usually results in the dismissal of the lawsuit, effectively barring the claimant from pursuing their claim in court. There are limited exceptions where late filing may be permitted, such as in cases where the claimant can demonstrate ignorance of the facts or where the municipal entity is not prejudiced by the delay. However, these exceptions are narrowly construed, emphasizing the importance of adherence to deadlines.

After Filing: What Comes Next?

Following the filing of a notice of claim, the municipal entity may request a pre-action hearing to further investigate the claim. This may involve testimony from the claimant and other witnesses, as well as the submission of additional evidence. These proceedings are critical in determining whether the case will proceed to trial or be resolved through settlement discussions.

Contact Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. Today 

The filing of a notice of claim in New York is a critical first step for individuals seeking to hold municipal entities accountable for injuries or damages. Understanding and complying with the specific requirements and deadlines is essential for the success of any such legal action. 

Given the complexities and procedural nuances involved, consulting with an experienced attorney is highly recommended to navigate these initial stages effectively and to advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.  Call us now at 914-809-9945 or schedule a consultation online to learn more.

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