If your injury claim involves or potentially involves any type of government entity or employee, you will need to follow strict guidelines in bringing a claim and possibly lawsuit to collect damages. One of the first and most important steps you will need to take is to file a “notice of claim.” There is a strict and relatively short window frame to file this claim. If you fail to timely and properly file your notice of claim, you will be forever barred from bringing a lawsuit for damages.
The Notice of Claim
Government entities and their subdivisions are generally entitled to what is known as “immunity” to liability and lawsuits. This means that you cannot sue them without first seeking “permission” by filing a notice of claim.
The notice of claim serves the purpose of making the government entity aware that you suffered an injury, and to give the agency or entity an opportunity to respond to your contentions before you file your lawsuit.
You will have a specific time frame, typically 6 months, to file your claim. The government agency will either accept (which is rare) or deny (most common) your claim. If your claim is denied, you will have a certain time frame (usually 6 months) to file your lawsuit.
Since each state and government agency has a different process, you should immediately hire a Fresno accident lawyer who has comprehensive knowledge of government claims to handle your claim.
Government Claims: a “Gray Area”
It is not always clear when and if a government agency is involved in an accident or injury. For example, suppose were involved in a car accident with a vehicle operated by an employee of an organization that is not an official governmental entity, but it partly funded by the state. After the accident, you will need to decide whether you need to first file a government claim to be able to pursue damages. It is best to err on the side of caution and to file a claim with all government agencies that could potentially be responsible for the accident.
To avoid any issues from pursuing a lawsuit to seek damages for your injuries, it is imperative that you immediately hire a Fresno personal injury attorney who specifically handles government claims. If you think any government entity could possibly be a party, it is important to take immediate action to prevent any future problem that bar you from seeking damages.
Contact an Experienced Fresno Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation.
The Stockton accident attorneys at the Srai Law Offices advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call (209) 323-5558.