Suppose that you were walking on a public sidewalk when you tripped and fell. You discovered that a tree root had lifted up one part of the sidewalk. The city was expected to handle problems of that nature. If you got injured as a result of your fall, could you sue the city?
Procedure to be followed by someone that got injured in an accident, while on city property
File a notice of claim within the number of days specified by the city. Most cities ask that any such notice be filed within 30 to 180 days of the accident. The government allows itself time in which to decide how it wants to proceed.
–It could choose to settle
–It could choose to deny the claim
–It could decide not to take any action
Anyone that sends a notice of claim to a city government should expect the same government to take certain actions, before it declares how it plans to proceed. Those actions tend to be ones that should help to strengthen the city’s case, in the event that the claimant elects to initiate a lawsuit.
For example, a woman got hurt, when she/he fell down on a city bus and filed a notice of claim. Before the city declared how it planned to proceed, the same city put more information on each of its buses. That information allowed passengers to learn the name of their driver. The woman that got hurt did not know the name of her driver at the time of the accident. The city did not know that the woman that had filed the claim was paying attention to what other passengers did, as they boarded or got off of a bus.
How a claim might become a lawsuit
If a city elects to deny a claim, or if it takes no action on a claim, then the claimant has the right to file a lawsuit. The city permits the filing of a lawsuit, if that action is taken within a stated period of time, usually 2 years from the day of the accident. Someone that wants to act quickly should contact a lawyer.
Why it pays to hire a lawyer
Two years can pass faster than expected. Someone that has not hired a Personal Injury Lawyer in St Thomas could lose track of the deadline for filing a lawsuit. The failure to file a lawsuit before the designated deadline would force the claimant to abandon his or her plans. A city would refuse to allow the filing of a lawsuit, if the prospective plaintiff had allowed the deadline to pass.