Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Mar 19, 2018 in Personal Injury
When an accident is caused by a government agency or its employees, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit against the municipality for your injuries.
The experienced personal injury attorneys in Fort Worth at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings are well-versed in the additional legal requirements involved in these types of cases. We can explain to you the requirements and how you may be able to pursue compensation against a government agency during a free consultation.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling (877) 920-9009.
Situations in Which You Can File a Claim Against the City
There are several situations in which you may be able to file a claim against the city if you suffered an injury due to the government or its employees. Some of these situations include the following:
Many government workers drive vehicles issued by the governmental agency. They may cause accidents based on any of the following reasons:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to follow traffic rules
- Defective vehicle parts
- Poorly maintaining the vehicle
Train accidents operated by government agencies may be caused by:
- Driver or conductor error
- Track failure
- Slips and falls on platforms
- Train failure
- Collisions with vehicles
- Chemical spills
Driving a municipal bus can be difficult and requires careful attention to the road ahead. A bus may cause accidents due to such issues as:
- Vehicle handling issues (steering, brakes, etc.)
- Too much weight on one side, leading to stability problems
- Road construction
- Distracted driving
- Defective equipment
- Improper bus maintenance
If an individual slips and falls or is otherwise injured because of an unsafe government building or property, he or she may be able to pursue a case for premises liability against the government agency. To succeed with this type of case, the victim must establish that the government agency breached its duty to provide a safe environment.
Requirements for Filing a Case Against the City
Individuals who are injured by a government agency must be aware of additional rules that apply to these specific cases, including the following:
Notice of Claim
The Texas Tort Claims Act requires that a personal injury victim give notice to the government agency of his or her intent to sue the agency. The Act requires that the government receive notice no later than six months after the date of the accident. However, this is just the statewide law; cities and municipalities are free to establish their own time limits for the notice of claim.
Most major cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, have a 90-day notice deadline. Other cities and municipalities range from 45 days to six months.
The notice of claim must include the following information:
- The injury or damage that was sustained
- Where the accident occurred
- When the accident occurred
- The nature of the incident
In addition to the deadline for the notice, a personal injury victim also has a deadline to actually file the lawsuit based on the accident. This deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations.
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If a lawsuit is not filed within two years from the date of the accident, you can lose your right to sue.
Texas recognizes a cap on damages for personal injury claims. The maximum amounts that you can recover from a Texas government agency are:
- $250,000 for each person and $500,000 for each occurrence resulting in bodily injury or death and $100,000 for destruction of property if the lawsuit is brought against the state government
- $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each occurrence resulting in bodily injury or death and $100,000 for destruction of property if the lawsuit is brought against a local government agency or an emergency service organization
Get Help from an Attorney
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you fulfill all of the requirements necessary to properly prepare a notice of claim and to file a case. It is often complex to build a case involving the government, so it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side.
The law firm of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings offers a free consultation in which we will advise you of your legal rights. We can explain all of the legal requirements regarding the filing of a claim against a government agency. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us if you are awarded money for your case.