Public Entity Attorneys
PUBLIC ENTITY CASES
Every day we take calls from people who have been injured by a public entity, but we are no longer able to pursue their claim because too much time has passed since the accident occurred.
We urge you to consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer specialized in public entity claims as soon as possible.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A PUBLIC ENTITY?
A Public entity is any federal, state, or local government entity. The term is broadly defined and includes government corporations, agencies, authorities, and judicial officers. If you are injured on local or federal government property, or by a government entity, or even a public employee acting within the scope of employment, you may file a claim against that entity. Common cases involve injuries sustained due to poorly maintained roadways, a slip and fall on government-owned property, or a collision with a city vehicle.
PURSUING A PUBLIC ENTITY CLAIM
A city, county, or state entity, whether individual or group, can be sued under a variety of theories for damages arising from tort claims. Negligence, nuisance, fraud, assault, battery, and defamation claims are all permitted. For example, one could sue under a theory of negligence if injured because of a dangerous condition on a state highway, an act/omission on the part of a local official, or even an organization’s failure to properly sign or warn of a hazardous area.
If you open a claim that seeks money or damages, you must first file a proper Administrative Claim under the Government Claims Act. This gives the governmental entity an opportunity to settle just claims before your suit is brought, permits a preliminary investigation of the facts, allows the entity to defend against unjust claims, and permits the entity to correct the conditions or practices that gave rise to the claim.
“If you fail to submit your claim within the specified time limit, your case can be dismissed, which is why meeting California’s filing deadlines is critically important…Don’t risk the future of your case by not consulting with a knowledgeable attorney immediately following your injury.”
As you can see, filing a claim against a public entity can get pretty complicated. Government law is filled with traps for the inexperienced. If steps are overlooked, or your paperwork is out of order or deadlines are missed, you may never receive compensation for your injuries. When dealing with these types of claims, it is highly recommended that you promptly seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.
WHY HIRE A PUBLIC ENTITY ATTORNEY
Civil lawsuits operate differently when you are dealing with a public entity rather than a private entity. There are a host of issues that plague lawsuits in this category, including immunities, statute of limitations, restrictions on legal theories, and specific procedural and pleading rules.
In order to properly handle these issues, your personal injury lawyer should be well versed on ‘The Tort Claims Act’ or ‘Government Claims Act’, which addresses filing claims against a government entity. The Tort Claims Act is found in Division 3.6 of the Government Code, Govt. Code § 810 et seq. This is no simple undertaking. Listed below are one or two rules from each category to illustrate some of the differences between public entity claims and all others.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Claims involving causes of action for death, injury to person, injury to personal property, and injury to growing crops must be filed within 6 months after a cause of action accrues.
This means that personal injury claims involving a public entity are very time-sensitive, and there are no real shortcuts. Everything still needs to be done by the book, but there is far less time to do so compared to most personal injury claims. Having an attorney gives you the freedom to breathe and the knowledge that your claim will be handled properly.
If you fail to submit your claim within the specified time limit, your case can be dismissed, which is why meeting California’s filing deadline is critically important. Don’t risk the future of your case by not consulting with a knowledgeable attorney immediately following your injury.