You are walking in front of city hall during the winter when you step on a patch of ice on the sidewalk and fall. As you lie on the iced over concrete, you realize that you have been injured. You go through all of the normal processes to attend to your injuries, and then you decide to sue the city for not taking care of the ice issue. Cut and dry case, right? Not so fast. When it comes to personal injury lawsuits against municipalities, there are a lot of road blocks that you need to be aware of.
Some Municipalities Cannot Be Sued
When you are considering a personal injury lawsuit against a municipality, keep in mind that the municipality makes the laws. While we would hope that our elected officials would not abuse their status, the fact is that some municipalities have laws in place that prevent them from being sued for personal injury events. The personal injury laws can vary from county to county, and it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side if you do decide to try and sue a municipality.
The Process Is Different
Every state has a list of statutes of limitations that apply to various types of personal injury events. For example, there might be a two year statute of limitations where you can file a slip and fall injury claim in your municipality. This means that you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim against the negligent party. When it comes to suing a municipality, you do not have that luxury.
In most places, you have between 30 and 90 days to file an intent to bring a claim against the municipality for your injuries. This means that you must notify the municipality of your intent to sue before you can file a lawsuit. This process is used in states such as New York, and the municipality can refuse your right to sue without reason. If your intent to sue is approved, then you have a small window of time where you can file your lawsuit.
Even If You Win
It is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a municipality and win your case, but that is where your battle begins. There are processes in place that allow a municipality to delay your payment, and some areas even allow the municipality to deny the claim completely after the case has been tried. So even if you win your personal injury case against a municipality, you are still in for a long and frustrating battle.
Every citizen deserves justice when they feel that they have been injured due to the negligence of others. But if your injury is the result of the negligence of a municipality, then you will have a difficult time getting the justice you seek. Your best approach is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney and work hard to get the compensation that you deserve.