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Is New York City Liable for Pothole Accidents?

by | Feb 28, 2023 | Blog

New York is the #3 state with the most pothole complaints. 

Every year, American drivers pay an average cost of $300 each to fix pothole-caused car damage. 

Poor road conditions account for at least some portion of annual car accidents. Some say the number is as high as 1/3rd of them. 

Yet it is difficult to sue New York City for pothole damage. New York’s pothole law makes it impossible to hold the city liable unless:

  1. The Commissioner of Transportation receives written notice describing the defect or hazardous condition.
  2. A city agency receives written notice of an injury caused by a defect or hazardous condition.
  3. The city acknowledges the defect but fails to remove or repair the condition within 15 days.

Fortunately, you do not have to be the one to send those written notices. We can subpoena New York City’s Department of Transportation files to check: if anyone has sent such a notice that the city subsequently ignored, we can file a lawsuit. 

In addition, New York City isn’t the only entity that might be responsible. If your accident occurred on a state highway, the liability is governed by state pothole law. The state is liable for defects in the highway if the injury or damage occurred between May 1 and November 15. The idea is that the state will have had time to find new potholes and fix them during the summer and fall months. 

If your pothole damage occurred at the right time, you could file a case in the Court of Claims. 

Filing a case against the city or the state is never easy. Lawmakers don’t want the government to be liable for most cases and have added many roadblocks to ensure they don’t have to pay. As you can see, there are ways around these issues, but only if you have proper legal representation.

In addition to helping you navigate state and city requirements, we can help you identify other potentially responsible parties who might be held accountable for your claim. 

Call us if you’ve been injured in an accident and think poor roadway conditions may have played a role. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who are happy to review your case anytime. Call us quickly, as you will have to meet strict deadlines to file your case any time the city or the state is involved.

See also:

When Can You Sue for a Car Accident in New York? 

How Does Shared Fault Work in a New York Personal Injury Case? 

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in New York City? 

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