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Can I Sue for an Injury Caused by NYCHA Negligence?


The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides affordable housing options to half a million New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Unfortunately, these buildings aren’t always adequately maintained, resulting in the risk of injury to residents and guests on the property. By law, property owners, including the City of New York, are required to keep their premises free from hazardous conditions — and can be held accountable if their failure to do so results in injury to another.

When Can You Sue NYCHA for an Injury?

Whether you can sue NYCHA for an injury on their premises depends on your case's specific facts and circumstances. To raise a successful claim, it’s crucial to have evidence of negligence — this can come in the form of photos, video, and evidence of formal complaints made to NYCHA. If you can show that NYCHA knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries and failed to make repairs, they may be held accountable for your damages. Liability can also arise due to a failure to warn about a known hazard.

Some common types of premises liability accidents on NYCHA property can involve the following:

  • Broken staircases
  • Defective handrails
  • Ceiling collapses
  • Negligent security
  • Poorly maintained sidewalks
  • Defective elevators
  • Dimly lit stairwells

Critically, liability for an injury will depend upon who was responsible for maintaining the property. In recent years, NYCHA has contracted with private companies to maintain, repair, and manage certain properties while NYCHA retains ownership. If someone suffers an injury due to the failure of a private company to make necessary repairs or adequately maintain a NYCHA property, that company may also be named in the lawsuit — depending on the terms of their agreement with NYCHA.

Compensation for NYCHA Injuries

It’s important to understand that since NYCHA is a municipal entity, there are specific Notice of Claim requirements. Unlike in a regular personal injury case, in which you generally have three years to bring a claim, there is a shorter statute of limitations when you are suing the City of New York or any of its agencies. The City must be served with a Notice of Claim within 90 days from the date of the accident as a prerequisite to commencing a lawsuit — and a lawsuit must be filed within one year and 90 days.

If you sustained injuries due to NYCHA’s negligence, you may have required extensive medical treatment and lost time from work as you recovered. This can result in significant financial losses. In a NYCHA premises liability lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover both your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include the costs you incurred for medical treatment, your lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, rehabilitative care costs, and future lost income. Non-economic losses are much more difficult to quantify and can include damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you were hurt on NYCHA property, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a personal injury action. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can best advise you regarding your legal rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented premises liability victims for over three decades and provides adept advocacy to obtain the best possible results in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.