Personal injuries caused by government entities or their employees occur every day in Orange County and throughout California. The victim of the government entity’s wrongful conduct is entitled to compensation for the harm caused by their actions. However, the standard rules that apply to civil claims between private parties do not apply when the at-fault party is a government entity. If you were injured on private property, this could form the basis of a premises liability claim against the property owner. However, if you were harmed on public property, you must prove the injury resulted from a government employee’s negligence or a dangerous condition of public property in order to secure compensation for your losses. Otherwise, the government entity is immune from being sued.
Types of government entity accident claims in Orange County
Filing a claim against a government entity is very different from filing a civil suit against another private individual. You have limited time in which to submit a claim for damages and file your case if the claim is rejected by the government entity. Your recoverable damages are also limited. At The Bertch Firm, we are confident in our ability to provide responsive and detail-oriented legal counsel for all types of government and public property accident claims, including:
- Dangerous conditions of public property – These claims pertain to injuries from damaged sidewalks, roadways, crosswalks, and vehicle accidents caused by such conditions. If the government entity responsible for maintaining these public spaces failed to do so, or if a government employee’s negligence caused such an injury, the victim has the right to pursue compensation from the appropriate government office.
- Motor vehicles owned and operated by government entities – Accidents and injuries that occur as a result of vehicles owned or operated by government entities or their employees
- Falls, injuries, and other accidents on public transportation – If you were injured in any type of public transit accident due to the negligence of a government employee, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages just as you would after an accident caused by any other party. However, seeking legal action against a government entity requires following special rules.
- Public schools, colleges, and universities – Our team can provide comprehensive legal counsel when you need to pursue legal recourse against any public education institution. This not only includes slip and fall injuries and other premises liability-related incidents but also assaults by teachers and even other students.
- State, county and city parks – While it’s possible for injuries to occur on publicly owned parks due to personal liability, some such injuries may happen because of the negligence of park staff or other government employees. We can help determine the cause of your accident and determine your options for legal recourse.
No matter how your injury occurred, pursuing any kind of legal action against a government entity is very difficult, even if your case appears straightforward. Unlike a standard personal injury claim against another private party, you must meet a stricter statute of limitations, and the amount of compensation you can foreseeably obtain for your damages is much less than you could seek in a standard personal injury claim.
Depending on the type of injury you suffered, the target of your legal action may be a specific government agency such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), a specific city or county, or even the state. Your Orange County public property accident attorney can help identify the appropriate defendant in your claim and assist you in building a comprehensive suit that aims for maximum compensation. These claims fall under the California Tort Claims Act, which applies to all civil claims against the state as well as local authorities, municipalities, and all political subdivisions within the state.
Filing your claim for damages against a government entity in Orange County
In any government liability claim, the claimant must submit a Notice of Claim to the appropriate government agency within the time limit. This is usually much shorter than the standard statute of limitations for most civil suits against private parties. This notice must include various details, including the date, time, and location of the incident, the nature of the damages the claimant suffered, and an explanation as to how the incident occurred. For most of these claims, the notice must be filed within six months of the date the injury occurred.
If this Notice of Claim is rejected, the claimant then has six months from the date of the rejection letter to file a civil suit against the appropriate government entity. If the government fails to respond to the notice, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. The damages you can recover are also more limited compared to what you can receive if you file a personal injury claim against a private party. Working with an experienced Orange County public property accident attorney can significantly increase your chances of maximizing your recovery in light of these limitations.
The team at The Bertch Firm has years of experience handling the toughest personal injury cases on behalf of our clients in Orange County. Facing any government office or agency in a civil suit can be daunting for the average person, but with legal counsel you can trust, you can approach this situation with greater confidence.
Our firm accepts clients on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee if we are unable to secure compensation for your losses, and if we do win your case, you only part with a percentage of the final case award as your attorney’s fee. If you have decided to find out how our team can assist you with your case against the government, contact The Bertch Firm today to set up your consultation with an Orange County public property accident attorney.
What damages am I entitled to recover as a result of my government entity liability claim?
In California, a responsible party is required to provide compensation to an injured person for all harm that was caused by their negligence or wrongdoing. This includes medical bills, loss of earnings and earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, disfigurement, grief, anxiety, and humiliation. It also includes property damage, loss of use (rental car expenses) and diminution in value (loss of value of your vehicle as a result of an accident). In order to recover damages, you will need to make a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party. An experienced attorney at The Bertch Firm possesses the knowledge, training, skill and experience to pursue justice for you and secure maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.
How much is my government entity accident case worth?
Every case is unique and must be evaluated in light of the specific circumstances giving rise to your injury. The value of your case depends on many factors including the liability of the defendant, any comparative fault of your own in causing your injuries, and the nature and extent of all of the harm suffered by you as a result of the incident, including damages for bodily injury, loss of earnings and earning capacity, property damage, general damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, anxiety, inconvenience, grief, humiliation, and disfigurement) and punitive damages.
The Bertch Firm Difference
Personalized attention for your government entity accident claim
At The Bertch Firm, each case is overseen and prosecuted by a licensed attorney, not a paralegal or case manager. The Bertch Firm has experience with many different types of accidents, including government entity accidents. An experienced attorney can help you gather and preserve crucial evidence for your government entity accident claim. Contact The Bertch Firm today and experience The Bertch Firm difference when you hire us to represent you for your injury claim.
Contact The Bertch Firm today
For further information about your government entity accident claim
The Bertch Firm has represented many people who have been injured as a result of government entity accidents. For further information about your potential case as a result of a government entity accident, contact an attorney at The Bertch Firm today for a free consultation.