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Personal Injury FAQ: How does the injury claims process work when the defendant is the city, county, state, or Federal government?

Can local injury lawyers Bethesda, MD trusts help me win my personal injury case against a government employee?

Injury lawyers Bethesda MDLocal injury lawyers Bethesda, MD residents rely on know that personal injury claims that involve a local, state, or federal government will be required to follow a different set of rules than claims involving an individual, company, or corporation. In general, you will want to have a personal injury lawyer who handles government claims to guide you through the process. Without legal representation, the chances of recovering a fair amount of damages, if any at all, are considerably slim.

If your accident was caused, or partially caused, by a government employee or entity (i.e. city, county, state, or federal government, or public agency, or division), you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. Bethesda, MD injury lawyers likely will inform you that some examples of these types of claims could include:

  • An accident involving a vehicle driven by a city employee who was working at the time.
  • A government operated building that caused an injury due to a known dangerous condition.
  • A fallen tree that was rotting, but was not cut down, even though the city was aware of the danger it posed.

In general, a government defendant has the right to set their own rules regarding who can file a claim or lawsuit, for what reason, and how to do so. This means that to pursue a claim against the city, county, state or federal government, you and the injury lawyers you use in Bethesda, MD must precisely follow the rules.

To being the process, you will likely need to file a formal written claim against the responsible entity within a period of time. This is usually between 30 and 90 days. If you miss this step, you may lose the right to any monetary compensation.

When Multiple Parties Are Involved

If your claim, for example, involves a three car accident that included you, another driver, and a city garbage truck, it may be in your best interest to file a claim against both other drivers even if you believe the other driver was primarily at fault.  Skilled injury lawyers in Bethesda, MD may remind you that the reason for this is not only because you could receive more compensation, but you cover yourself just in case the other driver is un, or under, insured.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations associated with filing a government claim are not to take lightly. Every state and city will have its own rules, and it is common for these limits to be as short as 30 days after the accident. Make sure you file the claim within this period. Waiting until the last day is also not a good idea, and could be a regrettable mistake, as many experienced injury lawyers in Bethesda, MD have seen clients miss the deadline.

Exceptions to a Deadline

If for some time you were not aware of a government entity being involved in your accident, and the statute of limitations passed by, you still might have a chance at filing a claim. However, things could become more difficult. If you’re able to show a good reason for your delay, you may be granted an exception to the rule. The definition of a “good reason” can vary. For example in some states, it means that you were not aware of the government entity being involved. In others, you must be able to show that you investigated the responsible parties, but received the wrong information, or made a legitimate error.

Injury lawyers Bethesda, MD residents count on may advise you to file your claim even if you missed the deadline, and include a written explanation on why it is late. Even if the government denies your ability to file, you can ask the court to file a late claim. In this type of process, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling government claims.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident involving a government employee, do not hesitate to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for more information.

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