When you get hurt on public property that’s maintained by the city,
it can present problems. You know that you deserve to have your injuries
covered and feel like the city should be held responsible for what’s
happened, but then you find out that you’ve had your claim denied.
Do you have any options? Where can you go for help?
In some cases, you can file a case against a municipal government, but
it might carry additional complications. Discover why it can get tricky
to file an injury lawsuit against a city and why you should call a San
Jose personal injury lawyer to pursue your case.
Municipal Liability Issues
The first thing to understand is that suing a government entity can carry
certain limits and special rules that you need to be aware of before filing.
California law, for example, sets a specific limit of six months following
your injury during which you can file an injury claim against any government
agency, whether it’s state, county or municipality. In addition,
there may be limits on the kinds of damages you can recover.
If you meet the criteria for filing a lawsuit, you must also prove that
the city was negligent in causing your injury. That means that they had
a responsibility to provide a safe place for you to be—maintaining
the sidewalk, for example—and that your accident resulted from them
failing to uphold this responsibility.
If the city wasn’t responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in this
area, you may not have a case. For example, if they contract with a third
party to maintain the pavement outside the municipal building, the contracted
party is responsible, not the city. Likewise, if there hasn’t been
adequate time to address the issue, negligence might not attach.
Filing Your Claim
If you do have a claim, the first step is to send the city a letter of
notice that you seek damages. This letter should include your name and
contact information, the circumstances of the accident including time,
date and location, the specifics of the injuries you suffered, and the
damages you seek to recover.
After filing this letter, you’ll need to wait for a response from
the municipality. If they agree to pay your claim, you’ll be good
to go. Unfortunately, more often than not the city will refuse. In this
case, you’ll need to seek representation to get paid for your injury.
San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt on city property and aren’t sure what to
do next, call a
San Jose personal injury lawyer for help. The right attorney can help you understand the limits on what
you can collect from the city and guide you in making the right choices
to pursue your claim and get the most compensation possible.
At the Dunnion Law Firm, we’ve helped people across Central California
seek compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered, and we’re
ready to protect your rights. For more information or a free consultation
about your injury case, give us a call today.