Can I File a Public Entity Claim If I Am Injured?

Our Alameda Attorneys Can Help You Determine If You Have a Claim Against a Public Entity

photo of a couple signing rental agreement If you are in an accident on government property or due to the negligence of a government employee, you may be wondering if you can get compensation for your injuries. This is a difficult question thanks to the laws that apply to the California Tort Claims Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act. These laws protect government agencies and their employees from personal injury lawsuits. This protection is also called sovereign immunity. However, the California Tort Claims Act and Federal Tort Claims Act also sets out exceptions to this immunity.

Navigating this complex web of regulations can be difficult, which is why consulting an attorney is a good strategy. At the Oakland law offices of Heinrich Law, PC, we have experience helping the injuredafter government entities or employees cause an accident. We utilize the latest technology, resources and techniques to help bring your claim to a fast and positive conclusion.

How Our East Bay Personal Injury Firm Handles Public Entity Claims

In a recent public entity case, our Alameda attorneys were able to help a man after a sheriff’s vehicle struck him. During an ill-advised police pursuit, the sheriff drove through an intersection against the red light. At the same moment, our client entered the intersection on the green light. He suffered a mild traumatic brain injury as a result of the crash, yet the sheriff denied responsibility.

After examining the evidence, our legal team was able to construct a recreation of the crash. This animation helped to prove our client’s claim. One week before the trial, the sheriff and the county admitted fault. This client received a $3 million settlement, and though every case is different and results may vary, our California personal injury attorneys will always provide their best effort.

What Can Constitute a Public Entity Claim?

Government entities that have prior warning about dangerous conditions on the premises can be liable for subsequent accidents. These public entities may also be accountable for the damages caused by the negligence of an employee or an independent contractor. If a public entity fails to fulfill a duty prescribed by law, it may also be responsible for any damages or injuries that result. That means victims hurt under these circumstances could get compensation for their loss of income, medical bills, and their pain and suffering. However, filing that claim can be difficult.

The California Tort Claims Act protects state entities from claims of injury caused by:

  • The California National Guard;
  • The failure to enforce any law;
  • The release of information to public schools related to convictions;
  • The failure to issue any certificate, license, order, permit or other official documentation;
  • The passage or failure to pass any law, ordinance or regulation; and
  • Misrepresentation.

This sovereign immunity also extends to punitive damages.

Why Is Filing a Public Entity Claim So Difficult?

Injury victims have a very limited amount of time to file a claim against a federal or state entity. Depending on the type of claim, you must file a notice within six months of your injury. Some examples of these claims include:

  • Injuries caused by a person driving for the government or a branch of the military,
  • Injuries caused by a dangerous roadway condition, and
  • Injuries caused by a defective sidewalk.

Public entity claims involve intricate rules. The slightest mistake could lead to the dismissal of your claim or lawsuit. Having a trusted California tort claims attorney is the best way you can avoid making such a critical error.

At Heinrich Law, PC, our Alameda attorneys are familiar with the complex workings of the Federal and California Tort Claims Act. This allows us to guide clients through the process of filing their claims and pursuing the matter until they are properly compensated. We may even be able to help injury victims with rejected claims.

Heinrich Law, PC has the experience and skills to help you file a public entity claim. Give us a call at (510) 570-1608 or fill out our online contact form to find out more. The initial consultation is free.