Generally speaking, when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence in California, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party to seek monetary compensation for your losses. However, individuals often wonder whether they can still pursue a personal injury lawsuit if they were injured due to the government’s negligence. If you have been injured and believe the government is liable, contact our adept Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorneys, who can help you navigate your legal options. Please continue reading to learn whether you file a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity in California.
When can you file a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity in California?
In California, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity to collect compensation for the damages you’ve incurred due to its negligence. However, despite your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity, these cases are much more complex than if you were pursuing legal action against a private individual, as you will be required to pay close attention to the unique set of procedural rules. Personal injury lawsuits against a government entity are covered under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA). Essentially, it covers not only negligence cases arising from a car accident but also claims that involve intentional wrongdoings and breach of contract. Under the law, CTCA provides immunity to the state of California from being sued. However, under certain circumstances, there are exceptions to this immunity.
Ultimately, you can pursue legal action against a government entity if your injuries were caused by the negligent acts of a government employee, the negligent acts of an independent contractor, premises liability for dangerous conditions on government property, and when damages are caused by the entities’ failure to carry out a duty imposed by California law. It is critical to note that if you were injured due to a government employee, you must file your claim with the agency or entity that employs the liable party. However, as mentioned above, you must follow the proper procedure before you collect any compensation.
What are the time limits for filing claims under the CTCA?
In California, if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit against a government agency, you must do so within six months of the date of the accident that caused your injuries and damages. Once you have filed your claim, the government will respond within 45 days on whether they are accepting or rejecting your claim. If they do not answer, they have likely rejected your claim. If they reject your claim, you can file a lawsuit in court. If there is no “right to sue” letter that victims may receive giving them the authority to file their claim, you will have two years to initiate a lawsuit against the government. In some cases, the government may attempt to negotiate a settlement.
If you have been injured due to the government’s negligence, contact a dependable Santa Clara County personal injury attorney from the legal team at the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady, who can help you file your claim within the right timeframe. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek reasonable compensation for their damages.