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Filing Personal Injury Claims Against Government Entities in Arizona: Procedures and Challenges

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Can I Hold the Government Liable for My Injuries?

If you or your loved one sustains injuries due to the negligence of another person, you can file a legal compensation claim. You can sue individuals or businesses if you get injured on private property or against the government if you get injured on public spaces such as sidewalks or highways that government agencies fail to maintain.

Personal injury claims in Arizona are complex and even more challenging when the government is involved. If you decide to pursue a claim against it, consult widely with a skilled Scottsdale personal injury lawyer. They can evaluate the case circumstances, help you weigh your options, and prepare you for the arduous legal battle.

What is the Process of Filing a Claim Against a Government Entity?

Once your premises liability attorney in Scottsdale determines you have a premises liability claim against the government, they will guide you through the procedures you must follow to succeed in your claim. The Arizona Tort Claims Act stipulates particular rules about filing claims against the government.

Notice of Public Claim

Under Arizona Revised Statute 12-821.01, anybody who files a claim against a government agency or employee must file a Notice of Claim. The Notice is submitted to the individual authorized to receive the Notice on behalf of the government or public entity.

You must file the Notice of Claim within 180 days after the occurrence of the incident, without which your claim will automatically be dismissed. Additionally, the Notice must contain sufficient information to put the public entity or government on notice based on liability. You also must indicate how much you expect to be compensated.

A Scottsdale premises liability lawyer explains that serving a Notice of Claim is not filing a lawsuit. The Notice only informs the government body of the possibility of a lawsuit and the claim amount it can settle before the case moves on to litigation. Failure to file the Notice of Claim within the deadline may bar you from pursuing a lawsuit later.

Response to the Notice of Claim

The state has 60 days to respond to your written claim. If you don’t receive a written response within these days, consider your claim denied. An experienced Scottsdale premises liability attorney can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

What is Required to Prove Government’s Negligence?

The law allows people to recover compensation for property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death caused by the negligence of a government agency or employee within the scope of their employment. An employee is said to be acting within the scope of their employment if:

  • A competent authority authorized their conduct
  • The person was serving a government purpose, at least in part.
  • To prove negligence on the part of the government agency or employee, you must show that:
  • The party had a duty of care toward you and others
  • The party breached this duty of care
  • Their actions caused an accident
  • You sustained injuries in the accident and seek compensation for the same

Proving these elements in personal injury lawsuits can be challenging if you don’t know how personal injury laws work. Let an experienced Scottsdale premises liability lawyer take the burden off your back and fight for your rights.

What Are the Challenges in Suing the Government for Premises Liability?

One of the challenges in filing a personal injury claim against the government is the sovereign immunity the entities enjoy. Sovereign immunity is rooted in the concept that government bodies cannot be sued without their consent.

For example, you cannot sue the government for failures during property inspections. The government is also exempted from claims for injuries caused while providing emergency care unless you can show intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Sovereign immunity applies to:

  • Local entities
  • State entities
  • Federal entities
  • Certain government employees

However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) exists to protect individuals and ensure they can pursue compensation for injuries caused by the government’s negligence.

Statute of Limitations

In personal injury cases against individuals, victims have a two-year deadline to pursue a compensation lawsuit in court against the at-fault party. On the contrary, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits against government entities is shorter. You only have 180 days to file a Notice of Claim and can file a lawsuit 60 days after serving the Notice, but no later than one year.

The short deadline requires you to quickly assert your claims against a government entity. One of the challenges with the statute of limitations in claims against the government is that you may not fully know the extent of your injuries within this short time. The dollar amount you quote in the Notice could be much less than the damages you suffered in the incident.

It may be several months before you can determine the full extent of medical expenses, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and other costs associated with the injury. Retaining a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Scottsdale is the best course of action to help you navigate the complexities. They can fight to ensure you get reasonable compensation for your injuries.

A Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Helping You Navigate the Challenges of Personal Injury Lawsuits Against the Government

Sustaining an injury due to poorly maintained public premises can have devastating consequences, especially if the injury is severe. While you can pursue compensation from the negligent government entity, the process can be complex and frustrating. A dedicated personal injury lawyer can review your case and guide you through the nuances

Wilson Ortiz Law Firm has a dedicated premises liability attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our team can handle all the complex legal paperwork while you focus on healing and rebuilding your life. Call us at 623-294-1442 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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