Notice of Claims — Things You Should Know

New York City Personal Injury and Notice of Claim Legal Help

Bringing Over 120 Years of Combined Personal Injury Law Legal Experience to New York City Residents

When you experience a personal injury or lose a loved one in an accident in New York City, many legal steps need to be taken on your road to a successful bid for financial compensation. One important step is to file a Notice of Claim.

A Notice of Claim may have to be filed depending on the nature of the claim. For instance:

  • Were you injured by a police officer or other law enforcement official? A Notice of Claim needs to be filed, and every jurisdiction has its own rules as to where, specifically, the Notice of Claim must be filed. If it is filed it in the wrong place the Notice of Claim becomes invalid!
  • Were you injured in a car or truck accident or as a pedestrian? Notice requirements depend on who the other party is, i.e. a taxi company, a city-owned vehicle, a bus, a subway train or an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle. A publicly- or quasi-publicly-owned vehicle will require a Notice of Claim.
  • Were you injured on dangerous property or by an unsafe product? Defendants and insurers must be identified and contacted. Again, publicly and quasi-publicly-owned property will require a Notice of Claim to be filed with the proper authority. Each public entity has its own requirement as to when and where the Notice of Claim must be filed before a lawsuit can be started!
  • Were you injured on the job? Accident reports must be filed with insurers and, perhaps, the workers’ compensation system must be notified

Contact The Orlow Firm Today

At The Orlow Firm, we have helped injured New Yorkers since 1981 by founding lawyer Steve Orlow, who has practiced law since 1969. We can take away the confusion at a difficult time by handling Notice of Claim requirements and by fully handling your personal injury case. And we combine our hands-on and helpful service with a focus on results. We have recovered many millions of dollars of cumulative compensation for clients, including several seven-figure awards.

We offer free initial consultations, work exclusively on a contingency-fee basis and can go to you if you cannot come to us.

To contact a New York personal injury attorney at our firm, call (646) 647-3398.

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“Occupy Wall Street” Camps Becoming Battlegrounds for Police, Protesters

Few movements have captured the nation’s attention as much as “Occupy Wall Street.” However because of these protests, municipalities across the nation have had to take a second look at how they attempt to navigate the delicate balance between free speech, public safety and excessive force. Mayors of cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; and of course, New York, New York are dealing with the harsh reality of clashes with police as protesters resist orders to disperse – often leading to claims of police brutality.

“Occupy” Throughout the Nation

In interviews with Bloomberg News, several mayors explained that what began as peaceful public demonstrations have now deteriorated into perilous zones for drug dealing, theft and violence. However, even with the threat of public discord, there are many accounts of law enforcement officers abusing their authority and using excessive force. The stories of Scott Olsen, a Marine who suffered a fractured skull at the hands of Oakland Police, and Iraq War veteran Kayan Sabeghi, whose spleen was ruptured after being clubbed by police are chilling reminders that police officers can quickly overstep their bounds.

Just recently, police at the University of California, Davis doused protesters with pepper spray to break up a campus encampment. Pepper spray was also used on an 84-year-old woman while taking part in a protest in Seattle

Excessive Force in New York?

New York is also no stranger to altercations between police officers and protesters. Recently, a 20-year-old protester was beaten by police after police claim the protestor resisted arrest and stole an officer’s hat. According to the attorney for the young protestor, he needed four staples to close the gash inflicted upon him by police batons.

Moreover, following the eviction of protestors from a local park, police restricted protestors from demonstrating in front of the Mayor’s residence. The police blocked every corner with barricades and police lines, limiting the protestors’ rights in the process.

Many people believe that the Occupy movement has reached a tipping point, since more homeless people and street youths are joining the camps. Nevertheless, police officers must still adhere to rules regarding the use of force. If you believe you have been assaulted by the police or are the victim of police misconduct, an experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and options.

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Suspect Shootings Bring Claims of Police Brutality in New York City

Members of the largely Caribbean Bronx neighborhood of Williamsbridge recently came together to protest the police shooting of a local teenager – the latest incident of police violence.

An NYPD investigation of street corner drug dealing – a neighborhood problem according to local residents – targeted a Bronx 18-year-old for questioning in February 2012. Believing he was armed, street narcotics officers chased the teen to his second-floor Bronx apartment, broke down the door and shot him as his grandmother and 6-year-old brother stood by. A thorough search revealed a bag of marijuana but no gun. The victim died at a nearby hospital of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to a article.

Also, an online video showing police kicking and punching another teen – again an 18-year-old – during his recent arrest has sparked community outrage and charges of police brutality. While the Bronx district attorney’s office investigates the case, the four officers involved in the beating are on restricted duty. “I know there are good cops out there, but there are few bad apples and we have to set an example,” said the victim’s mother.

Wave of Police Shootings is Unusual in Recent Years

Police shot and killed eight people in the line of duty and injured 16 in 2010, a rate consistent with the figures from 2007 through 2009. Yet only three officers were injured between 2008 and 2010 and none were killed. That changed with the December 2011 death of Officer Peter Figoski, who was shot during a botched robbery. In another recent incident, Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the head at point-blank range, but survived. Suspects in the incidents have pleaded not guilty.

Despite these dangers, police remain under scrutiny for the use of excessive violence and other types of police misconduct. According to, Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, observed that given enough time the public often forgets the names of police killed in the line of duty, but they can still remember the names of the unarmed men who were shot and killed by police 13 years ago – a particular incident that led to major reforms in the department of 35,000.

The vast majority of police are hard-working individuals that have earned the trust that society has place in them, but as humans they too can make mistakes. If you or a loved one has been injured or mistreated by law enforcement, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and determine your options.

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What is Police Misconduct?

We entrust our police force with powers not available to other members of the community. In the lawful exercise of their duties, police officers may physically restrain another individual and even cause physical injury and property damage. Law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits unless their actions can be shown to be willful and unreasonable. An officer who goes beyond the limits of his authority may be in violation of the law, police department regulations, and the U.S. Constitution. When the police exceed their authority and affect the rights of others, they may be liable for police misconduct. Victims of police misconduct may seek civil rights remedies as well as other damages under federal and state law.

Types of Police Misconduct

Police misconduct is a fairly broad concept that may include a variety of willful and unreasonable behaviors. In general, it arises from conduct that is unconstitutional, unethical, illegal, or in violation of departmental guidelines. At its most severe, police misconduct may involve police brutality that causes serious injury or even death. Other instances of police misconduct may include:

  • Sexual abuse of a suspect.
  • Falsifying evidence: this may consist of planting evidence at a crime scene or making up false witness statements.
  • False arrest/malicious prosecution: this occurs when police officers place a person in custody who they know to be innocent.
  • Coercing false confessions.
  • Intimidation
  • Corruption
  • Racial profiling.
  • Surveillance abuse.
  • Police drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Unlawful use of law enforcement databases for purposes of cyber-stalking and e-mail hacking.
  • Failure to Intervene: police officers are obligated to protect citizens from constitutional violations committed by fellow officers. Officers who witness such misconduct and fail to intervene may be liable to the victim for damages.

Police misconduct is not always easy to prove. A lawsuit for this type of behavior should be filed by an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of the law. Mere negligence or the failure to exercise due care will not be enough to hold an officer liable for police misconduct.

Contact An Attorney

If you or a loved one has been a victim of police misconduct, contact the attorneys at The Orlow Firm for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we maintain four offices throughout New York City. Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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What is Police Brutality?

Law enforcement officers are granted broad police powers on behalf of the citizens they serve. Unlike ordinary members of the community, police officers are allowed to engage in activity that interferes with the rights of others, even if it causes physical harm. As long as officers are acting within the proper scope of their duties, they will likely be granted immunity from civil prosecution for any harm caused. Police power is not unlimited, however. Law enforcement officers are bound by the law, the U.S. Constitution and by certain rules and regulations that govern their behavior.

Excessive Force

Police officers are permitted to use force in order to arrest an individual and protect themselves and the community. But the force must be reasonable. This means it must be the least amount of force necessary to control the situation and accomplish police objectives. The use of excessive force may represent police brutality if it directly violates a person’s constitutional right to be free of undue restraint upon his liberty. Lawsuits for police brutality often arise from the excessive use of force. There is no single, clear definition of police brutality. The question of whether police activity involves excessive use of force depends upon the specific facts of each case.

Examples of Police Brutality

Excessive use of force may be illustrated by the following situations. These are only a few of the possible scenarios created by police brutality.

  • Striking, kicking or otherwise injuring a person who has already been restrained.
  • Use of res training techniques that cause the suspect to have difficulty breathing. These actions may result in severe injury or death.
  • Use of pepper spray to disperse nonviolent, peaceful protesters.
  • Shoving or grabbing bystanders who are observing but not directly involved in a police incident.
  • Striking, kicking or otherwise injuring a suspect who is not resisting arrest, or whose resistance can be easily overcome with a minimum use of force.

Lawsuits for Police Brutality

Proving that an officer used excessive force can be difficult. Nowadays, however, the use of cell phone videos makes police brutality more visible and more difficult for the police to refute. Still, video recordings, as well as witness statements, must be carefully preserved and evaluated by a legal expert.

If you or a loved one has been victimized by police brutality or another type of police misconduct, contact the attorneys at The Orlow Firm for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we maintain four offices throughout New York City. Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

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