Under the California Government Code, if you have been injured as a result of the negligence of any government entity, you are given six (6) months from the date of the injury to file a claim against the public entity. A public entity consists, but is not limited to the following entities:
- City or County Vehicles (including but not limited to buses, trains, police cars, trash collection vehicles, parking enforcement vehicles, etc..);
- The negligent act of a City or County employee;
- A design defect in the way a road is constructed;
- Failure to Maintain City or County Property (including, but not limited to public sidewalks, etc…)
- Injuries that occur on City or County Property (door falls on student in public school, slip and fall on wet floor in a County Courthouse, etc…)
It is prudent, when you are filing the claim to file one against the City and the County where the injury occurred. (Please note that in California the claims is deemed filed and received on the date it is mailed due to what is termed the “Mailbox Rule”, therefore it is important that you send your claim form through Fed Ex or Certified Mail so that you have proof of mailing). Most cities and counties have these claim forms on their website and they are usually named “Claims for Damages.” Once you have filed the claim with the City and County in which the injury occurred, the county has approximately 45 days to respond to the claim. Should the city or county fail to respond after 45 days, the claim is deemed denied.
At the conclusion of the 45 day time period or upon receipt of a Notice of Rejection of Claim from the City or County you, again, have six (6) months from the 45 days or the date on the Notice of Rejection of Claim letter to file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. Should you fail to file the Complaint within the six months allotted, more likely than not you have lost your right to sue the public entity. The Code does state that should the public entity fail to respond at all to your claim in writing, you have two (2) years from the date of injury to file a complaint against the public entity. However, to avoid any grief, it would be prudent to file the claim within the standard six months window to avoid having to prove to the Court that the government entity did not comply with the rejection notice.
Therefore, should you be injured as a result of the negligent acts and/or omissions of a public entity or one of its agents/employees, please call the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Sharifi Firm, APC. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate the waters of a public entity claim and make sure your rights are not lost in a sea of bureaucratic obstacles designed to provide what is termed “immunity” to the public entity. We have successfully handled various types of injury claims against various governmental entities, which include State of California, Counties and cities of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside. We have also handled serious injury claims in Irvine, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Huntington Park and other municipalities.