Every accident claim in Echo Park has its own unique set of circumstances. Most of the time, an accident happens between two private citizens. The run-of-the-mill car accident or slip and fall that happens every day in Echo Park involves liability covered by the insurance company of the particular person or business. This means that claims–regardless of the injury–proceed in generally the same way. But sometimes, the accident involves fault on the part of a person or circumstance that is owned or operated by the government.
While this changes the way that the claim proceeds, there is no mistaking that you or a loved one has a right to recover support and other damages in a claim. When the government or local municipality causes your injury in Echo Park, working with our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys can make sure you get what you’re owed.
Contact Quirk Law For a Free Consultation
Being injured in an accident can be physically debilitating, but when you are injured because of the negligence of the government, it can be even more frustrating. The state and local government in Echo Park has various different regulations and protections under the law to shield them from full liability in an injury claim, but the fact remains that if you’re injured because of their negligence, you can recover damages from them. Doing so requires experience and dedication, which is exactly what you get from Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys.
Contact us today for a free consultation to explore your options.
When Can I Bring a Claim Against the Government in Echo Park?
There are various circumstances and scenarios when you can file a claim against a government agency in Echo Park. Most of these situations result when a government employee causes an injury in one form or another. While ownership of the injury location can sometimes play a part in these scenarios, government entities–unlike private businesses or citizens–have limited protection from certain legal actions.
Thus, the first hurdle in filing a claim against a government entity is figuring out whether the injury falls under the category where the agency is immune from legal action. The following are some examples of when a government entity may be liable for an injury:
- A driver is injured by improperly marked roadway construction
- A pedestrian is injured by a defective public sidewalk
- A visitor to a government building slips and falls on a wet floor
- A child becomes ill because of improperly maintained buildings at a public school
- An individual is injured during a violent attack on government-owned property
There is an important distinction to be made regarding claims against the government: not only are the timeframes, procedures, and regulations different for bringing a claim against the government but different agencies and branches have their own specific criteria that need to be met. Generally speaking, though, when you or a loved one is injured because of the government’s negligence, even their immunity can’t protect them from being responsible for your damages.
Procedure For Filing a Claim Against the Government in Echo Park
Most likely, if you’ve suffered injuries as a result of an accident in one of the above scenarios, you have the right to file a claim for damages against either the local or state government agency that is responsible. However, bringing that claim can be difficult. There are two main requirements for initiating a claim against the government in California: timing and damages.
- Timing Requirement – The main difference between filing a claim against the government for your injuries involves the time frame and notification procedures that you have to go through. Legally, every injury claim in California has a two-year statute of limitations. However, when the government is involved, the injury claim has to be filed within six months of the date of injury. The reason for this is fairly simple, the government has a wide variety of different responsibilities and potential liabilities, so shortening the amount of time that a person can file a claim allows the government the luxury of not being surprised by an injury that occurred months or years before.
- Notice of Claim – The other major hurdle for filing a claim against the government is filing an official Notice of Claim with the government prior to bringing your claim. This document officially puts the government on notice that you intend to bring a claim against them. This is also the document that has to be filed within six months of the date of your injury in order for your claim to be proper.
- Damages Requirement – In order to make the claims process more expedient and efficient, injury claims against the government have a minimum damages requirement. In California, your damages must exceed $10,000 before you can file an injury claim against the government.
Failure to meet any of these requirements means you won’t be able to pursue damages, meaning you could miss out on much-needed support for your injuries.
Not only do you have to serve the government with a Notice of Claim within six months of your accident, the government also has further protections in place to allow them time to investigate your claim and properly respond. Under the law, the government has the following timeframe to respond in writing to your Notice of Claim:
- 45 days
In some cases, the government can stipulate that they be given more time to investigate and respond to your claim. However, they must respond within 45 days. In their response, the government can either accept liability and issue payment for your damages (which can take up to 8 weeks) or they can deny your claim. If they deny the claim, you will have to proceed to filing a lawsuit to recover damages.
What Can I Recover In a Claim Against the Government in Echo Park?
While the procedure for filing a claim against the government is a bit different than normal, the law looks at these agencies no different than a private company or person. This means that negligence is still the key to determining liability, and generally has four elements:
- Duty of Care – The government or person had a duty to maintain the safety of other people.
- Breach of Duty – They breached that duty by failing to keep the person safe.
- Causation – The breach of duty caused the accident in question.
- Damages – The accident resulted in injuries and other losses.
Once the government is established as being negligent in its duties, it will be liable for any damages from your accident. Filing a lawsuit or claim can be a somewhat taxing process, but the following damages are potentially recoverable if successful:
- Costs of medical treatment and care
- Loss of income, future lost wages, and benefits
- Reductions in future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Impairments, disfigurement, and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Make no mistake, the government agency that you file a claim against will have the full resources of the state or municipality behind it. That’s why it’s important to have the experience and determined accident attorneys at Quirk Accident and Injury Attorneys on your side. We won’t back down and will make sure you get the support you’re owed.
Consult With an Experienced Echo Park Injury Attorney
No matter how careful you are, accidents can strike at any time in Echo Park. But when your accident is caused by forces outside of your control, the results can be all the more frustrating. Don’t let the possibility of going up against the government in a claim deter you from what you’re rightfully owed. By working with our team of experienced and dedicated Echo Park, personal injury attorneys, we can help you by making sure you meet all of the requirements for filing a claim against the government, then making sure your claim remains as strong as possible. To learn more about our process, contact us for a free consultation.