Accident Claims Costing City Big Money

High Rate Of Sanitation Dept. Incidents In Board 5 Area

New York City paid nearly $90 million in injury claims to individuals involved in accidents with city vehicles, according to a report City Comptroller Scott Stringer released last week.

The ClaimStat alert indicated the city satisfied 1,213 pedestrian personal injury claims filed between fiscal years 2007 and 2014, 22 of which resulted in fatalities.

Manhattan had the highest overall number of claims (378), while Brooklyn led the city in total amount of settlements and judgments ($29.1 million).

Locally, Queens Community Board 5 had the highest number of claims against the Sanitation Department. While the majority of settlements and judgments amounted to only a few hundred dollars each, several cases cost the city thousands of dollars.

According to the Comptroller’s ClaimStat map- which tracks claims filed against various city agencies-the most expensive Sanitation Department claim resulted from a July 25, 2012 accident on 76th Street near 69th Road in Middle Village.

In that incident, according to information provided by Stringer’s office, a Sanitation Department vehicle smashed into and totaled a parked car. The city approved a claim on Feb. 8, 2013, providing an $8,000 payment to the vehicle owner.

Other costly claims in the Board 5 area included an incident on Oct. 20, 2011 at the corner of Fresh Pond Road and Madison Street in Ridgewood, in which the Sanitation Department paid $4,082; and an incident on Mar. 8, 2013 on 75th Street near 67th Drive that led to a $3,098 payment.

Stringer’s report was released days before the city enacts a citywide speed limit reduction. As of Nov. 7, the default speed limit-the maximum speed for roads where speed limit signs are not posted-will be 25 mph, down from the current 30 mph threshold.

The comptroller cautioned that the city should also be wary of the new speed rules and enact measures to reduce traffic accidents involving its own vehicles and/or property.

“The city should employ best practices to reduce risk of pedestrians, examine the hot spots identified by this data and determine whether additional traffic-calming measures may be needed,” Stringer said.

To view the full ClaimStat map or other information related to city claims, visit www.comptroller.nyc.gov.

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