In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
What You Need to Know About Filing Personal Injury Claims Against the Government
There are a specific set of rules that apply if your injuries have been caused, even partially, by a government organization or a government employee. For example, if you were involved in an automobile accident with a municipal bus driven by a city employee during business hours, suffered an injury caused by the dangerous conditions on a property owned by the government, or were involved in an accident caused by a government agency employee over the course of their official work.
In general, government defendants, including federal, county, and city governments, establish their own specific rules regarding who is entitled to sue, for what they can be sued, and how to go about it. To pursue a personal injury claim against a government organization or employee, a plaintiff must carefully New Hampshire’s specific rules for filing such a claim. More specifically, a formal written complaint must be filed within a comparatively short period of time, which generally ranges from 30 to 180 days. If the claim is not filed within the appropriate time frame or does not include the required information, you can permanently forfeit your legal right to collect monetary compensation against the responsible party.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim With the Government
If you believe that a government organization or employee was responsible for any injuries you incurred, then you should file a complaint. For example, let’s say that you were involved in an auto accident involving your vehicle, a secondary vehicle, and a city bus. Even if the city believes that the secondary vehicle was primarily responsible for the accident, a persona injury claim should be filed anyways. The secondary motorist may be uninsured, or the bus driver may be more responsible than what was initially thought. In either scenario, compensation should be sought from the city. Again, if a formal complaint is not filed within the prescribed timeframe, then you forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Time Limits For Filing Personal Injury Claims With the Government
Each state, and even different municipalities with a given state, have established time limits in which a formal complaint against the government must be filed. The time limit may be as short as 30 days, or a plaintiff may have up to six months to file a claim. If you have been involved in an accident involving governmental liability, then it is imperative for you to retain the services of an experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer in order to ensure that are relevant documents are filed within the right time period.
Regardless of the specific time constraints you are facing, a claim should not be filed at the last minute. Certain relevant information may have been accidentally left out, or the legal written notice may have been filed with the wrong government entity. You will want to ensure that you have enough time to correct any potential errors before the time frame is up.
What Happens If I Miss the Filing Deadline?
For a period of time after an accident has occurred, you may not necessarily realize that the government shares responsibility for the accident. By the time you do come to this realization, the time frame within which you can legally file a formal complaint has passed. If this does occur, it does not necessarily eliminate all possibilities for collecting compensation from the government, but it does make the job considerably more onerous. If sufficient reason can be demonstrated for why a plaintiff is late in filing a claim, the majority of states will permit the plaintiff to file after the deadline has passed.
However, what is legally required to establish sufficient reason varies considerably from one state to the next and can even vary within municipalities. In one state, simply not realizing that a government entity was responsible will provide sufficient reason. In another state, a plaintiff must prove that he or she thoroughly investigated who the responsible party was, but received incorrect information that created an excusable error.
Regardless of what your reason might be, if you miss a particular deadline, go ahead and file your claim anyways, but an explanation of why the original deadline was missed should also be included. The government may still grant permission for the personal injury claim to proceed; however, if they do not, then a plaintiff does possess the option of petitioning a New Hampshire court to request formal permission to file a late claim. Particularly with this process, it is highly recommended that you retain the legal services of an experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
It is not difficult to see that filing a personal injury lawsuit against the government is a complex business, but each of our NH personal injury lawyers can offer the skills, expertise, and knowledge that are required to successfully file a claim in your case.
Your initial consultation with our firm is 100% free. Our personal injury lawyers will answer your questions, evaluate the merits and basis for your claim, and provide an honest opinion and recommendation of how to proceed. The injuries you have suffered in your accident are serious, so don’t’ take any unnecessary risks when it comes to receiving the monetary compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm today.
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This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
Disclaimer: Some cases are referred to other law firms with consent of client.
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