Getting injured in an accident is difficult: emotionally, physically, and legally; getting into an accident with a government entity frustrates all of these. A government entity encompasses municipal, county, State, and Federal to include employees and officials. Generally, be it municipal or state government, each has erected a set of statutes to either create immunity or accept liability. Thus, government entities are allowed to set their own rules in how to pursue them in a law suit, which is usually different than if suing a private party. Additionally, this applies even if the government entity is only partially involved or responsible for the injury. Here’s what you need to know about Arizona law when making a personal injury claim against a government entity.
In Arizona, you can pursue a private entity on an injury claim without any particular procedures that must be followed; however, in contrast, when a government entity is part of the cause for the injury, Arizona has erected statutes that provide for special procedures when the government entity is the defendant. Specifically, Title 12 Chapter 7 mandates specific actions and procedures when naming the State as a party. In Backus v. State, a wrongful death claim was brought against the state; but, the court instead focused on whether the plaintiff complied with the statutory requirements of Notice of Claim when naming the state as a party. What ensued was over two years of costly litigation, and the Arizona Supreme Court handing down the decision. Backus v. State, 220 Ariz. 101 (2009). Thus, knowledge of special procedures keeps your personal injury claim against a government entity on track. Lack of knowledge regarding special procedures, on the other hand, could be costly, force your claim into prolonged litigation, or result in your claim being barred.
In addition to special procedures when pursuing a personal injury claim against a government entity, there are unique timelines to be aware of, as well. For example, a Notice of Claim—which serves the purpose of indicating your intent to bring a law suit against the government—must be filed within 180 days from date of injury. Furthermore, time restraints on the Statute of Limitations become narrower. Here, Arizona statutes restrict claims against a government entity to one-year from date of injury to bring a law suit, compared to the usual two-year period granted when the claim is against a private entity. Therefore, Arizona uses timelines as a restraint to bring a claim against a government entity. If any timeline is blown, the claim may be barred.
Getting More Information and Help
Bringing a personal injury claim against a government entity can be confusing. With Arizona statutes creating different procedures and timelines, you can easily fall in the trap of getting your claim against a government entity barred. Thus, when dealing with a personal injury claim against a government entity, use an experienced attorney who specializes in both personal injury and governmental claims to avoid unnecessary costs, force your claim into prolonged litigation, or result in your claim being barred. For more information on claims against a government entity, see our section on Accidents Caused by Government Agencies or Public Entities.
The Law Offices of Michael Cordova can help you, or a loved one, navigate a claim brought against a government entity. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Cordova handles a variety of injury and accident cases, while providing a service to the client that is professional, personal, and unparalleled in the legal industry. To learn more about the cases we handle, visit our main site here. If you, or a loved one, think you may have a claim against a government entity contact us for a free case evaluation.