Is the City of Thousand Oaks Liable for My Injury?
Accidents happen every day in Thousand Oaks, and some of them occur as a result of the carelessness and negligence of the city itself. A municipality can be held liable for damages resulting from a personal injury accident as a result of the negligence of its employee or independent contractor under the California Government Code section 815.2, so long as the employee was acting within the scope of their employment, government function or contract at the time of the accident. In Thousand Oaks, these claims might involve accidents with motor vehicles that are owned by the city, bus crashes, slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents on city streets, sidewalks and other city-owned property. They might even involve bicycle, skateboard or scooter accidents.
Notice Requirement for Lawsuits Against Thousand Oaks:
Before the City of Thousand Oaks can be sued in a personal injury case, the accident victim must serve the city with a notice of a claim pursuant to the California Government Code section 910-913.2. This notice requirement is central to any personal injury claim against a city anywhere in California. It must comply with the letter of the law and not the spirit. Failure to provide required information in the notice, incorrect service or late service of it will likely cause any personal injury lawsuit filed later to be dismissed.
Special Time Limits:
Along with complying with the notice requirements as per the above sections, a person claiming personal injury against a California municipality must comply with the strict time limit in the service their notice of claim. The general rule with very limited exceptions is that the notice must be filed within six months of the date of the accident that gave rise to the claim. The municipality then has 45 days after service to respond to the notice. Any failure to respond after 45 days is taken as a rejection of the claim. Failure to serve that notice within the six-month period will also be a likely cause of any personal injury lawsuit to be dismissed.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a City When Its Employee Caused the Accident?
Yes, you can, but you’ll need to show that the employee was working in the course of his or her duties, or was carrying out an authorized government function. Cities often hire independent contractors for jobs, and you can even bring a lawsuit against the employee of an independent contractor who caused your accident and injuries so long as you can show the same duties or function.
The Statute of Limitations:
The general rule in California is that an individual who was injured in an accident has two years from the date of that accident to file their lawsuit. Failure to file within that two-year limitations period will almost always operate to bar him or her from proceeding further. Accident victims must be careful. If a municipality denied or rejected a claim in whole or in part, an accident victim has only six months from the date of that rejection to file a lawsuit. If the municipality never responded to the victim’s claim notice, a two-year statute of limitations exists.
Contact a Thousand Oaks Personal Injury Lawyer Today.
Aside from the highly detailed technicalities involved in pursuing a negligence claim against a California municipality, there is the task of overcoming the defenses that it will inevitably be raised to the allegations of negligence against it. From the onset, pursuing a personal injury claim against the City of Thousand Oaks will be extremely complicated and worrisome for you. If you believe that you were injured by the City of Thousand Oaks or an employee or contractor of the city, contact our Thouand Oaks Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange for a free consultation and case review.
We want to know what happened and how it happened. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions, and they’ll be answered truthfully too. Then, we’ll advise you on the legal options that are available to you. Remember that strict time limits apply, so contact us as soon as you possibly can.