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Ask an Attorney: Is It Possible to Sue a City/County?

Published on Jun 20, 2018 by Thomas Law Offices.

Many people have a general idea of what to do when they’ve been injured in an accident or due to negligence—file a claim against the responsible party. For example, in a car accident the person would file a claim against the driver because they were going over the speed limit. But there may be some confusion of what your legal options are after you’ve been injured because of your city’s or county’s negligence.

You could have gotten in a car accident because a cop didn’t signal a turn or ran a red light, or you could have slipped inside a government building that didn’t indicate the floor was wet. In these cases, you may have grounds to prepare for a lawsuit, but there are certain steps you need to take first.

Steps in Suing a City

Before suing a city or county, you have to file a “Notice of Claim” with the government so they know you’re planning on filing a claim. Your personal injury lawyer can help you with this. You also need to operate within the statute of limitations, which can vary depending on your state. Failing to adhere to the statute and the notice of claim could jeopardize your case.

There’s a chance that after receiving your notice of claim, the city will decide to settle your case. To some, this may be a better option than a lawsuit which can take time and money. For your claim to be successful, it needs to have the following:

  • Proof of City’s Negligence.
  • That Negligence Caused Your Injury.
  • How the Injury Has Affected You.

While it may seem obvious that you’d have to show the city’s negligence and how it directly caused your injury, you should also include how it’s affected you because that could determine your compensation. Severe injuries could mean multiple hospital trips, undergoing various tests, having to take medication, missing work, and future medical costs for your recovery.

There are a few classifications that you have to watch out for if you want your claim to be valid. It could depend on what you were doing when you got injured. If you were trespassing on city property and got injured, your claim may not be approved. But if you were employed by the city and was injured doing work for them, your claim may be successful. The best way to ensure you’re taking the best course of action is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll review your case and help you take the next steps that are in your best interests.

If you’ve been injured because of negligence on behalf of your city or county, you want experienced legal aid at your side. The experienced legal team from Thomas Law Offices will help you with your claim. We’ll make sure you get the compensation you need to take care of your financial burdens. Contact us today to learn more.

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At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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