Governmental Entity cases are unique and complex. State and federal laws permit someone to sue governmental entities for injuries caused by the entity’s negligence, but doing so is difficult. I would not recommend that someone try to sue a governmental entity without the help of a personal injury attorney who is experienced in these types of cases.
How is Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Governmental Entity Different than Filing Against an Individual?
Suing a county, city or state is much more complicated than suing an individual. There are many more rules and very specific procedures that must be followed in order to hold a governmental entity accountable for injuries it caused. To start, there is a shorter period of time within which to file a claim against a governmental entity, as opposed to filing against an individual. There is also an additional step involved in suing a governmental entity – an administrative claim must be filed prior to filing a lawsuit.
An administrative claim against a governmental entity or agency must be filed within six (6) months of the date of the accident and must include several key pieces of information. At a minimum, each claim should include the following:
- Name and address of the injured party
- Name and address of the person who should receive notices on behalf of the injured party
- Name of the public employee, if known, who is responsible
- Amount of the claim
- Date, location and facts of the incident
- Detailed description of the damages and injuries
The most difficult, and important, parts of the administrative claim is the description of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the legal theories under which the governmental entity is liable for the injuries. The claim must set forth enough information so the governmental entity can review the legal theories of liability asserted by the injured party. If the injured party fails to include a legal theory in the claim, the court will not allow the injured party to use that specific theory of liability in a lawsuit.
In most cases, the governmental unit will reject the administrative claim. The injured party then has just six (6) months from the date of the rejection to file a lawsuit.
If an injured party fails to file an administrative claim within six (6) months from the date of the accident, or fails to file a lawsuit within six (6) months from the date an administrative claim is rejected, the injured party loses the right to make any claim at all. In other words, unless all procedures are properly followed within the proper timeframes, an injured party will not be compensated for injuries caused by a governmental entity.
In addition to dealing with specific rules and short timeframes, there are also issues of governmental immunity that need to be addressed. Each case is different and different immunities apply in different scenarios. If all this sounds complex, that’s because suing a county, city or state is complex. Retaining an attorney who has experience dealing with governmental entity cases will increase the likelihood of recovering damages for injuries caused by governmental negligence.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney to Assist with Your Claim
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My law practice exclusively represents personal injury victims and does so with a deep understanding of their suffering and an absolute commitment to their recovery. I take your injuries personally, and that is why I directly handle all aspects of every case to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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