When you have suffered
personal injuries as a result of the negligence of a private individual, company, or other
entity, you must file a lawsuit by the applicable statute of limitations
if you are not able to settle your case. However, if you suffer personal
injuries as a result of negligence by an employee of a governmental entity,
you may also have an additional obligation. Many governments require you
to provide notice of your bodily injuries and potential claim within a
specific period of time after the accident. Then, you must also either
settle your case or file a lawsuit by the applicable statute of limitations.
Failure to provide sufficient notice within the required time can prevent
you from recovering any damages for your injuries, even if you file a
lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
When it comes to government notices, one size does not fit all. Instead,
each governmental entity may require that it be provided with specific
information, in a certain manner, and by a specific deadline. A good attorney
will identify whether or not a government entity may be liable and, if
so, the proper type of notice of claim that is required to bring a claim
for personal injuries against that specific county, state and/or federal agency.
For example, we deal frequently with individuals wishing to file claims
against the District of Columbia Government for loss, damage, or personal
injury. For these individuals to prevail, they must provide notice to
the District of Columbia government within six months after the loss,
damage, or injury occurred. The notice must be in writing, delivered to
specific officers of the District of Columbia government, and set forth
several important facts, including the injuries suffered and the time,
place, cause, and circumstances of the injury or damage.
As another example, in Maryland, one must first determine whether the governmental
entity is the State of Maryland, a county, or a town or city. Each one
will have a specific type of notice required. Often times, it is necessary
to provide notice to the State, one or more counties, and one or more
cities or towns to be sure that notice was property provided.
Finally, the federal government has a completely different procedure and
requires, in most instances, that a Form 95 be filled out within two years
of the date of an accident. It must be accompanied by supporting documentation
for the client’s injuries, among other things.
All of this is a compelling reason for people who suffer personal injuries
to contact a Washington DC personal injury attorney immediately after
an accident. Failure to provide the proper notice by the legal deadline
for doing so is fatal to a claim for personal injuries. Simeone &
Miller, LLP offers
free consultations, so there is no reason not to contact us immediately after an accident
to determine your rights as well as what must be done to pursue your personal