HOW TO FILE AN ORANGE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CLAIM
California Tort Claims Act governs personal injury claims against the State of California, public entity, county or local governmental entity and its employees under California Government (Gov’t) Code sections 810-996.6. If the government injures you, this injury is called a "tort." In case you are the claimant, file a tort claim and try to seek money or "damages" from the governmental entity. The government may be sued for a variety of reasons, namely, a governmental entity has violated your rights, or it is responsible for a death, physical injury, or property damage.
A personal injury or premises liability claim against the State of California or any government agency must be brought within 6 months from the date of the accident. The steps that you need to follow in order to file a government tort claim are:
You must first exhaust all available administrative remedies with the concerned government agency or department prior to taking legal recourse. A claim may be filed directly with the government agency or may be filed through the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. A claim involving death, personal injury, damage to property must be filed with the state agency on a claim form, within six months from the date of the injury. All other claims may be filed within one year of the date on which the cause of action arose. A fully filled claim form with all necessary documents appended to it and must be submitted to the state agency by mail or personal delivery. The purpose of filing the claim form is to notify the government regarding your claims and to enable it to investigate and settle meritorious claims. An incomplete form containing inadequate information can lead to a rejection of your claims. It is important that you correctly determine and state the amount of damages claimed by you in Claim Form because an inadequate request for relief can adversely harm your case at a later stage. Once a claim is properly filed with the agency, the California government or agency has forty-five (45) days to investigate and reject or accept the claims. If forty five (45) days have elapsed without a response by the agency, the claim is considered to have been rejected and you may file a lawsuit in the California Small Claims Court or the Superior Court of Orange County within the next two (2) years. In case of receipt of a rejection letter you have six (6) months to file a lawsuit in court. Filing a lawsuit against the government in Orange County is complex and requires a thorough knowledge about the procedural aspects relating to such actions. It is therefore necessary to have an experienced lawyer like Scott D. Huges, by your side in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Scott D. Hughes is a civil litigation attorney in Orange County, California practicing in State and Federal Court and has handled several government tort claims. Contact the Law Office of Scott D. Hughes for a free initial consultation, to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options against the Orange County Government.