Claims Against Local Government Entities
Traffic and other accidents are sometimes caused by the negligence of local public entity employees. When that occurs, certain rules must be followed in order to pursue a claim for injuries and damages. For example, when a county worker causes an auto accident that leads to injuries, a formal claim must be presented to the county employer within 6 months from the date of the accident.
RECENT ACCIDENT IN ORANGE COUNTY
On September 1, 2017, a street weeper and a private vehicle reportedly collided head-on during an accident in the City of Stanton. As reported by KTLA news, one person was killed and another critically injured in the collision. Assuming the sweeper driver was at least partially at fault, the driver's employer (likely either the City of Stanton or the County of Orange) may be liable and a claim must be filed with that employer within 6 months from the accident date. Unlike most other types of injury claims, a bodily injury claim against a public entity must be filed with the entity within 6 months. In contrast, most personal injury claims are subject to a 2 year deadline for filing an action with the court.
GOVERNMENT CLAIM DENIALS
Routinely, government claims like the one referenced above are nearly always denied by the responsible entity. This is likely due to the fact the denial allows the entity more time to continue investigating the accident or the injuries before making a more considered decision. When the claim is denied, the injured party usually has just 6 months from the date of the denial within which to file an action with the court. Thereafter, the parties will proceed to a trial, unless the matter settles first. The denial of a government claim does not mean the injured party's case is over; it's likely just beginning.
If you feel you or a loved one has been injured by the neglect of a public entity's employee, you should act quickly in order to protect your rights. An experienced injury attorney can help you with presenting a claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve.