Governmental Immunity and Qualified Immunity

Aggressive Injury Attorneys Representing New York City Victims

The experienced and skilled attorneys at the Jesse Minc Law Group advocate for New Yorkers who have suffered injuries in public transportation accidents and other incidents on government property. The government – whether the City of New York, the State of New York, or even the United States Federal Government – generally has the same responsibilities to maintain their property in a safe manner, and can be held liable for substantial amounts of damages if someone is injured due to their negligence. Our team of legal professionals and staff work tirelessly to see that our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation owed to them when they are hurt. In order to ensure that each client gets the attention that they have the right to expect from their lawyers, we limit the number of cases that we accept so as to ensure that the proper amount of resources is available to every one of our clients. As a client of our Bronx public transportation accident lawyers, you always have access to the attorney handling your case if you have questions, and will never be relegated to speaking with secretaries without direct access to your accident lawyer. Our greater than 95 percent success rate—both in court and in negotiations—speaks for itself.

Public transportation is an important and essential part of life in the Bronx and elsewhere in New York City. A complex network of subway and train lines, bus routes, and ferries moves millions of people throughout the city each day. With so many large vehicles transporting so many people, accidents are unfortunately bound to happen. The government agencies that operate New York City’s public transportation networks have a duty to provide safe and competent services, and to ensure that facilities like subway stations and bus stops are free of hazards. When the negligence of a public employee results in a bus accident, train accident, or other incident, the government may be liable for the resulting injuries. They may also be liable for accidents caused by hazards on their premises, including potholes or other tripping or slipping hazards that might cause an accident.

However, while many of the legal concepts are the same, suing a government agency or government official, as opposed to a private person or company, for damages is often very different from suing a private company or individual because of the legal principles of governmental immunity and qualified immunity, which may insulate the government from liability where a private citizen would not be protected from being held to account in court. Our injury attorneys are intimately familiar with the legal doctrines behind which the government may try to hide to avoid paying you compensation, and will explain how these important rules work in your case and how you can get around them in your personal injury lawsuit if you are injured due to governmental negligence.

Governmental Immunity in New York City Public Transportation Accidents

The legal principle of governmental immunity, also known as sovereign immunity, states that the government is immune from civil lawsuits, unless it consents to being sued. The United States inherited this doctrine from England, where “sovereign immunity” essentially meant that the King could not be sued in his own courts. Governments in the U.S., from the federal government down to cities and counties, have consented to be sued in a wide range of situations (i.e., they have “waived” sovereign immunity in many circumstances, or have been deemed not to be entitled to sovereign immunity in a particular circumstance).

Our Bronx attorneys deal with lawsuits seeking to recover damages for injuries, known as tort claims. The government has consented to be sued for damages resulting from its own or its employees’ negligence. Laws like the Federal Tort Claims Act and the New York Court of Claims Act establish procedures for lawsuits against the government, including filing a notice of claim within a specified time period. The City of New York, while a governmental entity, does not enjoy the same sovereign immunity rights as does the Federal government or the State of New York, though it does claim certain qualified immunity rights that can result in an injured accident victim’s case being dismissed if he or she does not have lawyers who understand the immunity laws and properly prepare the case to contend with these rules.

Qualified Immunity in New York City Public Transportation Accidents

While governmental immunity applies to lawsuits against the government or one of its agencies, qualified immunity applies to lawsuits against individual officials or agents. It tries to balance the need to hold officials responsible for negligence or abuse of authority with the need to protect officials from claims that would merely disrupt their ability to do their jobs. Government officials are generally immune from individual liability for acts performed as part of their official duties, unless a plaintiff can show that they clearly breached a duty owed to them or to the public or violated their constitutional rights.

Speak with an Accident Attorney in the Bronx or Surrounding Areas Today

The Jesse Minc Law Group’s lawyers have received many honors from their peers, establishing them as being at the top of their fields. Our network of investigators, including a retired N.Y.P.D. detective, can locate witnesses and evidence and make sure that they are available when needed. We also offer resources to support our clients as we guide them through the legal process. Our team can assist people with insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security claims. We can help with probate matters in cases involving a tragic death, and we can help you find top attorneys in a wide range of fields to meet your particular needs. Feel free to contact us at (718) 354-8000, or via our website, to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Se habla español. The Jesse Minc Law Group represents people in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and communities throughout Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.

Client Testimonials
★★★★★
When I got hurt after falling on a scaffold on a construction site, I could not work in construction anymore and did not know how I could support my family. I turned to Jesse Minc and I am very happy that I met him. He also discusses my case in Spanish with me when I want to, and that always made me feel comfortable. I believe that he is the best lawyer in New York City and I would recommend him to anybody who is injured.
★★★★★
After I was very badly hurt in a construction accident and could not work anymore, I turned to Jesse Minc. I have had a lot of lawyers over the years, but he is the best I ever had. Because I was a member of Local 6A Concrete Workers Union, I lost a lot of benefits, my pension and income when I got hurt and he made sure I understood how I could recover what I had lost. He and his team have been a Godsend to me and my family, and I am so glad that I chose him to represent us. Luke Rosa, Bronx, New York
★★★★★
My experience with Jesse Minc's firm was very rewarding. I personally dealt with Jesse Minc, who was a class act as my lawyer. He was always on call with any questions or help I needed in the process of my lawsuit. Jesse recovered a high six figure sum for a slip and fall accident I endured. He got the case settled in a reasonable time. If you are in need of lawyers for a lawsuit in New York City I highly recommend Jesse Minc's firm, they got me a very high settlement and were there for me personally every step of the way. Thanks to all the lawyers and staff. Salvador Ruiz, Brooklyn, New York
★★★★★
When I got hurt on a construction site and could not work anymore, one of my brothers from the Concrete Workers Local 6A union recommended Jesse Minc to be my lawyer and I am very happy I picked him to represent me. He really does have the human touch that a lot of lawyers lack. I would recommend Jesse Minc to anyone injured in a construction accident because he will fight to the end of the earth for his clients. Joseph Toro, Bronx, New York