Suing a city government for an injury can be a complicated and challenging process. City governments have sovereign immunity, which means that they cannot be sued unless they have given consent to be sued. However, there are situations in which a person can sue a city government for an injury, and it is essential to understand the process.
The first step in suing a city government for an injury is to determine if the city has waived its sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a legal principle that protects the government from lawsuits, but many cities have waived this immunity in certain situations. For example, if a city owns a dangerous property or has a poorly maintained road that causes an injury, it may have waived its immunity and can be sued.
The second step is to determine if the injury was caused by the negligence of the city. Negligence means that the city had a duty to keep the property or roads safe, but it failed to do so, and this failure caused the injury. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the city had a duty of care, breached that duty, and the breach caused the injury.
The third step is to file a claim with the city. Before a lawsuit can be filed, the injured person must file a claim with the city government. The claim must include the details of the injury, the cause of the injury, and the amount of damages being sought. The city has a specific time period to respond to the claim, and if it is not settled, a lawsuit can be filed.
The fourth step is to hire an attorney. Suing a city government is a complex legal process that requires expertise in the law. It is essential to hire an attorney who has experience in handling these types of cases.
The fifth step is to file a lawsuit. If the city does not respond to the claim, or if the claim is denied, a lawsuit can be filed. The lawsuit must be filed within a specific time frame, and it must be filed in the proper court.
The sixth step is to litigate the case. Litigating the case involves the discovery process, where both sides gather evidence and take depositions, and then a trial, where a judge or jury decides the outcome of the case. The plaintiff must prove that the city was negligent and that the negligence caused the injury.
Suing a city government for an injury can be a challenging process, but it is possible. It is important to hire an experienced attorney and to understand the steps involved in the process. With the right legal representation, an injured person can recover damages for their injury and hold the city accountable for its negligence.