San Luis Obispo Premises Liability Attorneys
Every year, many people are injured on government and public properties throughout California. After these accidents, individuals may face a range of devastating consequences such as broken bones, head injuries and spinal damage. While there are legal options available to collect compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, bringing a claim against a public entity is a complex process and requires the help of a skilled premises liability attorney.
The Law Office of Daniel J. O’Neill is an established personal injury law firm in San Luis Obispo, with a strong reputation for helping injured victims win difficult cases. Serving clients throughout the state of California, our founding attorney has more than 35 years of legal experience and understands what is needed to be successful in a premises injury claim against the government.
Issues In Premises Liability Claims Against A Public Entity
When you are injured on someone else’s property due to negligence, you have the right to sue that individual, but what happens when the injury happens on public land, like when you are walking down a sidewalk or riding on a city-owned bus? Can you sue a public entity for an injury? The answer is yes.
In these instances, the state of California allows you to make a liability claim against the responsible government agency, which is known as a premises liability case. If you feel your injury may qualify as a premises liability case, you need to understand the laws that surround this type of claim. If you do not follow them properly, your claim will be denied and you will lose the compensation you deserve.
One of the issues that arise in a premises liability case against a public entity is the short statute of limitations to bring a claim. As a general rule, you only have six months from the date of the accident on a non-federal public property to file a claim. If you miss the deadline to file the initial claim, you may request that a judge extends your eligibility for up to an additional six months, but the extension is not guaranteed. Once you file, more likely than not, your claim will be denied. At this point, you have six months to bring an official lawsuit.
If a minor is injured on a non-federal public property, the deadlines are primarily the same as those for adults. However, if a minor has failed to file a claim during the initial six-month window, a judge must grant, upon formal request, a six-month extension.
Protecting Your Rights In Government Property Premises Injury Claims
With complex premises liability laws, strict filing deadlines and other limitations in recovery options against the government, it is highly important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you are injured.
However, while there are many obstacles to overcome in these cases, our law firm will never back down from a challenge. We believe that injured individuals have the right to fair compensation after being injured on another party’s property, regardless of the premises owner.
Contact our California law firm if you have been injured on any of the following government properties:
- Public sidewalks and roadways
- Government buildings
- Public parks
- Public pools and recreation centers
Filing a Claim Against the Government in California
The first thing to do is to see your doctor to evaluate your injuries. You need a medical record of the injuries you sustained soon after the event, as this can be a critical part of your case should you need to sue.
Next, you need to start the process of alerting the government entity to your injury and their fault in it. Under the California Tort Claims Act, you must file a claim with the government entity before you can sue. If you are dealing with a personal injury, damage to personal property, or a wrongful death, the claim must be filed within six months of the incident. If you do not file the claim within the six months, you may be prohibited from filing a lawsuit for your damages.
After you file the claim, the government entity has 45 days to address it. They will either reject the claim, ignore the claim, or in rare instances make an offer to settle. If the government entity denies the claim, they may send written correspondence notifying of the claim rejection. This rejection letter is commonly known as a “right to sue” letter. If you receive a “right to sue” letter California Government Code § 945.6 gives you six months from the postmark of the sue letter to file a formal lawsuit in the proper Court. If you receive no letter, you have two years from the date of your injury to file the lawsuit.
What Types of Accidents Can Be Held Liable?
As a member of the public, you have the right to expect the government to keep public areas safe. Everything the government owns and operates, from holes in the ground in a public green space that are not properly marked to sidewalks and public recreational facilities, should be properly maintained to keep you from injury. Some common reasons that you can claim a personal injury case against a government entity include:
- Injuries that happen at public recreation facilities, like pools and public parks that are not properly maintained.
- Injuries sustained while riding on a city bus.
- Injuries sustained due to poor lighting in public spaces.
- Injuries due to poorly maintained stairways.
In each of these instances, you may have the right to seek compensation to help with your recovery.
After a serious accident, the Law Office of Daniel J. O’Neill can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Contact us toll-free at 1-805-542-0639 and ask to speak with an experienced San Luis Obispo public premises liability lawyer about your case.
Free consultation · All cases are taken on contingency