“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.

Read More

A Late Notice of Claim Does Not Have To Be a Death Knell

In New York, special notice-of-claim requirements apply to personal injury claims against government entities or operators. In most cases it is vital to ensure that the appropriate entity receives a proper notice of the claim on time. However, giving a late notice of claim is not always fatal to a case.

Notice-of-Claim Requirements

If an injured person sues an officer or employee of a public corporation or other government organization, New York law requires that notice of the person’s claim be given to the proper government entity in a notice of claim.

This notice-of-claim rule applies to personal injury lawsuits against public hospitals, transportation systems and schools as well as government-owned utilities and other operators providing public services. Therefore, people who are hit by city buses, suffer from malpractice at county hospitals or slip and fall in municipal buildings must provide a proper notice of claim if they sue the government operator or entity for damages. Some examples of entities requiring a notice of claim include:

  • The City of New York
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MABSTOA)
  • Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority (SIRTOA)
  • New York City Housing Authority
  • New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

The notice of claim must be in writing and notarized. It should provide the date, time and precise location of incident as well as a brief description of the event and the injuries that resulted. Importantly, the notice of claim must be delivered to the involved government entity within 90 days of the incident.

Late Notice of Claim

In general, a court will not allow an injured person’s personal injury claim to go forward if the defendant-government operator or entity did not receive a proper and timely notice of claim. However, a court may allow a late notice of claim if it finds the tardiness reasonable.

New York courts consider many factors when deciding whether a late notice of claim is allowable. These factors include:

  • The defendant’s actual knowledge of the claim within the first 90 days, considering available police reports or internal investigations of the event
  • Whether the injured person is a minor or mentally or physically incapacitated
  • Whether the injured person’s notice is late due to action of the defendant such as settlement discussions
  • Whether the injured person made an excusable error in identifying the appropriate government entity
  • Whether the delay would substantially prejudice, or harm the defendant’s case

If a court finds an injured person’s tardiness is excusable, it may allow the injured person to file a late notice of claim and proceed with his or her case.

If you have been injured in an incident involving government operators or entities, contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience advocating for acceptance of his or her client’s late notice of claim. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand what options you have when the notice of claim deadline has passed or is quickly approaching.

Read More

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.

Read More