Suing a city is more complicated than suing an individual

What To Do If You Are Injured By a City VehicleIf you or a loved one is injured in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence, normally you can file a personal injury claim against that party in order to recover compensation for your damages. However, if you’re in an auto accident that was caused by an employee of a city or state entity, it may not be so simple.

Laws Regarding Personal Injury Claims Against Government Personnel

In California, the state government and many city governments have what is called “sovereign immunity.” This means that you or your loved one can’t sue the state for an injury that was caused by a state employee or entity. There is, however, an exception to that rule such as if the state of city employee clearly acted in a manner that was negligent and caused the accident.

To file a claim against the state, county, or city government in California, the person who was injured must give a written notice of the claim. This notice must include:

  1. The injured person’s name and contact information
  2. Date, location, and a description of how the person was injured
  3. What the injury and/or injuries are and how much the medical costs are up to this point
  4. The name of the government employee who caused the injury

The written notice must be filed within 6 months from the date of the injury. Once your claim is filed, the government agency has 45 days to investigate the claim and make a decision as to whether they are going to accept it. If your claim is rejected, it’s possible that you can then file a personal injury lawsuit.

So What Should You Do If You Get Into an Accident with a City Vehicle?

If you are involved in an accident with a city vehicle, and you believe that the driver of that vehicle was at fault, you will need to take many of the same steps you would after any kind of traffic accident.

First of all, you should make sure that you and any other injured individuals get necessary medical care. This may require calling an ambulance to the scene of the accident, or making a same-day or next-day appointment with your own doctor in case of more minor injuries.

Next, you need to call law enforcement to report the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, they may or may not send an officer to take a report. If they do not, you can make your own report at the police station later.

You should definitely take pictures or video of the scene of the accident if you are able. Ideally, you want to get pictures of the vehicles before they are moved, because this will help show how the accident happened and who is at fault.

Don’t forget to exchange contact information with any witnesses or other drivers involved in the accident.

Your next step should be to contact an auto accident attorney such as The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. We will help you determine if there is indeed sufficient evidence to show that the city vehicle caused your accident. If so, we will assist you with the specialized procedures involved in suing a government entity.

To learn more, contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.

📞 Call 800-333-0000 Today!