Whether you want it or not, the city – in our case, Los Angeles – owns tons of buildings and property. Not to mention that public places are also technically owned by the city. This begs the question: can you file a personal injury claim against Los Angeles? And if you do, what are the pitfalls and hidden hazards that may be encountered when trying to sue the city for your injuries?
We asked these questions our Los Angeles personal injury attorney Howard Craig Kornberg, who has helped hundreds of clients to build strong cases against the city for over three decades. If there is someone in Los Angeles who knows everything about holding the city liable for your injuries and damages, it would be Howard Kornberg.
1. When can you sue the city for your injuries?
What are the examples of personal injury cases against Los Angeles? Let’s say that you are walking down the street and get injured in a slip and fall accident on icy pavement. Or you get robbed in a poorly lit alley. What if your vehicle has been smashed by an on-duty police officer’s car that was clearly speeding? What if you were hit by a city bus? Or what if you slipped on a banana peel in a city government building?
Do you know what all of the above-mentioned cases have in common? That is right: in all of the cases, you will most likely be able to file a personal injury claim against the city. And if you do, be sure to seek legal advice of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, as the city – or any other government defendant, for that matter – has its own rules for how you can sue them.
2. What is the ‘Notice of Claim’ and how to file it?
If you want to hold the city liable for your injuries and damages, you will have to file a “Notice of Claim” against the city before you file a personal injury lawsuit. Our best attorneys in Los Angeles explain what information you must include in your notice of claim in order to be eligible to sue the city later on:
- Names and contact information of all the parties involved in the accident that left you injured;
- The scope of your injuries;
- The amount of damages you have suffered;
- A description of the accident: location, date, time, how it happened, etc.
Under California personal injury laws, you have six months to file a “Notice of Claim” against Los Angeles from the date you were injured or discovered your injuries. Please be advised that the failure to file a “Notice of Claim” properly and in a timely manner may hurt your chances of seeking damages and/or may result in your case’s dismissal from court.
3. How to prepare a lawsuit against the city?
It is fair to say that the vast majority of claims filed against the city – be it Los Angeles, Riverside, or any other Californian city – are dismissed due to the injured party’s failure to establish all the elements of a negligence claim. These elements include:
- The city owed a duty of care;
- The city breached that duty of care;
- The breach of duty caused an injury or harm (aka causation);
- You – the plaintiff – suffered injuries and/or damages as a result of the breach.
It is highly advised to be represented by a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who would help you establish all elements of your claim against the city, collect evidence of the city’s liability, help you file a “Notice of Claim,” and then file a lawsuit to obtain compensation on your behalf.
4. Is Los Angeles immune from personal injury cases?
Even if you have put everything in order, as outlined above, your personal injury claim may be dismissed simply because the city has immunity in your particular situation. You see, federal and state laws grant immunity to cities – as well as city employees – for some negligent actions.
Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to find out whether or not the city will be able to dismiss your case by claiming immunity. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form to build a strong case.