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What is the deadline for filing an accident injury claim against a government entity?
- July 26, 2016
For many people, personal injury cases are complex and challenging, but the situation gets even more interesting when it involves a government entity. If you believe that a government agency or employee is responsible for your injuries, then you have to act quickly. You have a strict deadline, and failing to file in time will cause you to lose your chance of getting the compensation that you deserve.
In California, you have six months to file your claim, starting from the date of your injury. Some people decide not to file right away, and they often miss the deadline as a result. So, it’s best to file as soon as you can so that you don’t encounter any problems.
Government Entity Defined
When thinking of a government entity, most people picture courthouses and law enforcement agencies, but that is not the case. Any employee, building or vehicle that belongs to or works for the government qualifies. So, if you get hit by a mail truck, then the same deadline applies. The same holds true if you get injured while in the post office or a public school. Some people don’t make the distinction, and they fail to file in time as a result.
Staying organized is a great way to ensure that your claim gets filed on time, and documenting each event that relates to your injury is a good place to start. Include the exact time and date on which the incident took place, being as detailed as possible. No matter how insignificant it is, include anything that might have seemed unusual before the injury took place occurred.
Also, try to keep track of any witnesses who were present at the time and get their contact information. Whenever an incident takes place, always see a doctor as soon as possible so that you can determine the extent of the injuries. After you have spoken to a doctor, ask for a copy of your medical report in case you need it in court. Be sure to ask your doctor about any future complications that could result from your injury and how much they would cost to treat.
Most of the time, the deadline for personal injury cases against government entities is strictly upheld, but some exceptions exist. If an individual was under the age of 18 when the injury took place, then they might be able to file once they reach the age of majority. Another exception can be made if you leave California for an extended period. When that happens, the amount of time spent out of the state won’t count against your deadline. If you were unable to file your personal injury claim on time as a result of being incarcerated, then you could be eligible for an exception.
Even when you can get an extension on the deadline, try to file as soon as possible so that you don’t risk missing your chance. Always take reasonable steps to get the process started promptly when you want the best possible results.
If you want to ensure that your claim gets filed on time, then learn the filing process. The first step involves getting a government claim form and inputting the required information. On the form, you need to list a general overview of the incident that caused your injury, including the names of the government agency or employee responsible. You can also include a copy of your medical bills to serve as evidence, listing the amount for which you believe that the government is responsible for repaying.
Some people don’t list the amount of money that they are seeking, but the claim won’t be considered valid without it. If you don’t know how much to list, then contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Getting injured by a government entity makes the process a little more complicated; you have to follow more steps and adhere to a strict deadline. Any mistakes on your claim form can result in it being declared invalid, causing you to miss the deadline. Although it is possible to complete the process on your own, doing so is not always a good idea. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer will enable you to follow each step properly and to get the best possible odd of reaching a desirable outcome.