If I Fell On A Broken Sidewalk Can I Sue The City?
Any time an individual is injured on the property of another, and that property contains damage due to negligence, there may be grounds for contacting a personal injury attorney and filing a premise liability lawsuit for that premise liability claim injury. However, it becomes much more difficult for your premise liability attorney to file a premise liability lawsuit when the property owner is a government agency. There are immunity laws protecting governments from premise liability claims, yet those laws were partially waved by Congressional Act in 1946.
The Federal Tort Claims Act and Premise Liability Lawsuits
Prior to 1946, the government and its agents were immune from prosecution on premise liability claims filed by premise liability attorneys. However, because of a military accident in 1945 causing 14 deaths, Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act, allowing the injured
to file premise liability claims against the government under certain conditions.
The two primary conditions required before consulting an attorney and filing a premise liability lawsuit against the government for a premise liability claim injury:
- Limit premise liability lawsuits to situations in which the government acts as a normal citizen and causes a premise liability claim injury. Acts that are unique to government agencies are not eligible for premise liability lawsuits.
- Limit premise liability lawsuits to premise liability claim injuries for which a personal injury attorney has filed a notice of claim with a government within 60 days of the premise liability injury.
Every state has different processes for filing a notice of claim against their state, county, and city governments, so if you incur a premise liability claim injury on government property, you will need the help of a premise liability attorney to complete that process. Then, if necessary, you will be able to file a premise liability lawsuit against the government.
If you do something as simple as tripping and falling over a broken sidewalk and incurring a premise liability claim injury, you and your premise liability attorney can only file a premise liability lawsuit if you first file a notice of claim with the government agency that “owns” that sidewalk within 60 days, and that claim is rejected. Then your premise liability attorneyy can file your premise liability lawsuit against the government for your injury.
If most such claims are rejected, the issue remains, why file a notice of claim for a premise liability claim injury with that government agency in the first place. The truth is, Congress deemed it appropriate for a government agency to know when a premise liability claim is pending and to respond to a notice of that claim before they have to face a premise liability attorney.
There may be some confusion regarding the correct government agency your attorney must file your notice of claim. Since your attorney cannot file alawsuit until the government notice of claim is filed and paid or rejected, you need your attorney to research it. However, your premise liability attorney may also advise you to file that notice of claim with multiple agencies in order to clear the way for your lawsuit
Because the period in which your premise liability attorney can file your notice of claim with the government is short, you must call a premise liability attorney quickly. If you do not honor the Federal Tort Claims Act, your premise liability attorney will be unable to file a premise liability lawsuit against the government for your premise liability claim accident, and you will not recover damages for your injuries.
Government Agencies and Premise Liability Claims
Before your premise liability attorney can file a premise liability lawsuit, you must determine if and where to file your notice of claim with the governmental agency that oversees the property. However, it may be difficult to discern who has jurisdiction. Even a premise liability attorney may have trouble sorting it out, and then completing the motion of claim, and moving on to the premise liability lawsuit. Therefore, you must file your notice of claim with several agencies before your premise liability attorney is free to file a premise liability lawsuit.
Filing a Premise Liability Claim against the U.S. Government
Once your notice of claim has been filed and answered, if necessary, your premise liability attorney may file a premise liability lawsuit against the negligent agency. The premise liability claim process proceeds normally from there, with your premise liability attorney investigating the evidence for your premise liability claim, presenting your premise liability lawsuit either for settlement or for adjudication, and awaiting the outcome of your premise liability lawsuit.