Yes, you can sue a city for negligence and personal injury. However, a personal injury claim filed against a state or a city has its own distinct features in contrast to suing a private party or any other juridical entity like a corporation, partnership or firm. There are quite a number of limitations indicated in the law that makes the process of suing a city a little more complex than suing another individual or organization.
“Sovereign immunity” protects several government employees and agencies against lawsuits, including personal injury cases. It generally means that no one is authorized or has the juridical personality to sue the kind, in layman’s terms, the state or city. Having been adapted in the older times and have endured the modern times, it is now regarded as the bar in suing the government or the state.
Fortunately for many, some governments have waived such privileges and waived their immunity against personal injury lawsuits. In this kind of waiver of immunity, government personnel or people working for/on behalf of the state, those clearly acting in representation of acts ordered by the state and those government officials clothed with the authority of the office they are holding, among others, can be sued if they have acted negligently or intentionally and that behavior has resulted in damage/injury to another person. In this way, you can sue a government official who acted wrongfully.
Had you decided to pursue your claim against the state, the first thing that you should do is to hire a personal injury attorney who will represent you. A notice of claim from you will be indispensable and must be filed immediately after the occurrence of the accident. Serve it to the office of the head of the city you are suing and to other parties involved. The notice shall stipulate the following information:
- The names of all the plaintiffs or claimants
- The place of residence of all the claimants
- The date of the occurrence of the injury or accident
- The time of the occurrence of the injury or accident
- The amount of award you seek for damages
- Outline of how the incident transpired
The next step is for you to wait for the response of the government to your notice. If your claim is denied, you can now proceed with your personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof is on you, which means you will be the one responsible in proving that the state or its agents were indeed negligent and their negligent led to your injury.
Before you file your personal injury claim, you need to examine the personal injury laws enacted in your state or where you are filing the case and see whether claim is even permitted in the area. In order to see if you can file a claim or not, it is best to hire a personal injury lawyer and have him/her examine your case.
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