Were you Injured in an Accident by a Los Angeles City Vehicle?
You may have heard of governmental immunity. Because the government makes and enforces the law, it tends to treat itself more favorably than it treats others when it comes to liability for its own wrongs.
Governmental immunity means that the government needs not pay for its wrongs in certain cases, even though a private individual would have to pay under the same circumstances.
Governmental immunity is especially frustrating when it comes to serious injury accidents caused by federal, state, or city-owned and operated motor vehicles.
Los Angeles County registers over six-million cars and one-million trucks every year.
The City of Los Angeles owns and operates many of those vehicles, supporting police, firefighting, utilities, waste collection, and other city functions and services.
City employees carelessly operating a City-owned motor vehicle cause many personal injury and property damage accidents every year.
To give readers a better understanding of city vehicle injuries, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are providing an overview below.
How to Overcome Governmental Immunity
Fortunately, provisions of the California Tort Claims Act permit persons:
- whom City of Los Angeles motor vehicles injure, or
- whose property City motor vehicles damage;
- to avoid governmental immunity and to make a financial recovery.
You must, though, follow the Act's special procedures.
Statute of limitations – six months
The first and most important procedure is to make a timely administrative claim with the City within six months of the accident.
This limitation period is much shorter than California's two-year statute of limitations period for other motor vehicle accidents not involving government defendants. Do not miss the special limitations period.
The City must respond to your claim within forty-five days. If the City rejects your claim, California law gives you six months to pursue your claim in court.
If the City does not respond, then, in theory, you get two years to file in court, although waiting longer than six months is generally unwise and could lead to dismissal.
California law also tolls the limitation period for minority, insanity, and other causes. But again, do not delay. Instead, consult with your Los Angeles personal injury attorney so that your lawyer can make your timely claim.
You can't sue individual city employees
The California Tort Claims Act does not allow you to sue the individual government employee whose careless act in the course of government employment caused your loss or injury.
Instead, after the government agency rejects or ignores the administrative claim, the claimant may sue the government agency in court.
The government agency would pay for the careless wrong of its employee if that wrong occurred in the course of employment.
Your lawyer will gather the evidence and present the claim to show both the employee's agency and the employee's breach of the applicable standard of care, all necessary to recover on a negligence claim against the City.
How Can I Make a Claim?
The City of Los Angeles accepts new claims using an online form. Do not complete this form yourself without the assistance of competent legal counsel. The claim form requires that:
- you allege how and when your loss occurred, and
- the City employee's particular acts or omissions that caused your loss.
You must also state and itemize the amount you claim. Specific legal allegations of this type are precisely what our attorneys are trained to investigate and present.
Don't undermine your claim before it even starts with an incomplete, inaccurate, or inarticulate statement of your claim. The City of Los Angeles' claim form includes blanks for:
- identifying your attorney's name,
- telephone, and
The City expects you to retain legal counsel
Although claimants may submit their own claims without a lawyer, claims offices tend not to treat claimants fairly with offers of their claim's full value unless they believe that the claimant has the legal representation necessary to prove the claim. The City's claim form also requires supplying:
- witness names and addresses,
- medical-treatment information, and
- accident diagrams.
This is all information that your personal injury lawyer should prepare and submit for you.
Personal Injury Lawyers for City Vehicle Accidents
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you with your injury claim against the City of Los Angeles for a truck or other motor vehicle accident.
Our lawyers work on contingency fees, meaning that you pay nothing to evaluate, prepare, and present your claim, until you make a financial recovery.
We earn our fee from the recovery. No recovery, no fee. Get top-rated injury lawyers without having to pay in advance out of pocket.
Cases against state and local government for serious injury vehicle accidents are nothing new to our law firm.
We have the skill and experience to navigate the laws of governmental immunity.
Retain lawyers whom you can trust to sue the government and present your claim properly so that you recover your claim's full value.
Injury Justice Law Firm are top-ranked personal injury attorneys serving people throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
Our firm is located at 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Our main office is in the San Fernando Valley area of LA County next to the Van Nuys Superior Court at 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401.
Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (818) 781-1570.