When we hear the word, “accident,” most of us immediately think of motor vehicle accidents. The reality is, there are many incidences which fall under this category. Slip & Falls, faulty machinery, poorly secured building materials; the list goes on.
The following is the “legal” definition of an accident:
An incidental and unplanned event that could have been prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.
The word accident is derived from the Latin word “accidere”. The word signifies fall upon, happen or chance. In order to sue and recover compensation for an accident one must, however, prove that someone else was negligent and caused the accident. Negligence is defined as the omission to do something which a reasonable prudent person, guided by those ordinary human affairs would do or by doing something that a reasonable prudent person would not do. The negligence can be as a result of an act or a failure to act. For example, if a homeowner fails to repair or remove a hole on their property they may be liable to someone if they are injured and fall in the hole. In another example, a mall operator may be liable if they improperly place mats at the entrance to the mall. If someone trips and falls as a result of the improperly placed mat they can recover damages.
There are also claims and lawsuits that can be brought against School Districts, Villages, Towns, Cities and other Municipalities. This includes cases against the New York City Housing Authority, MTA, LIRR or any quasi government agency. Claims and lawsuits against these defendants have special rules and require that a timely notice of claim is filed. Such cases include: Police misconduct, false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive use of force by police officers and other law enforcement agencies.
Therefore, it is important that you contact an experienced lawyer immediately who is familiar with the rules and laws in this area. We can help you navigate this process. It is important that you contact my office as soon as possible to discuss and protect your rights. Failure to file a timely notice of claim or failure to file a notice of claim in the proper form and manner can derail your lawsuit and prevent you from recovering damages.
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