Call Your Lawyer Fast

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Firm News

If you are injured by someone, your property is damaged, or someone breaches a contract with you, call a lawyer immediately. Even though the statute of limitation for personal injury and property damage is 3 years, and for breach of contract is 4 years, if one of the bad guys is a governmental agency, then you must file a claim with the government within 6 months for personal injury and property damage and within 1 year for breach of contract and other claims. If the claim is rejected in writing, then you have to file the lawsuit within only 6 months.

You need to see a lawyer to make sure whether or not you have a claim against a government or governmental agency. Some hospitals are private, but many are part of a governmental agency. Not just public hospitals. There can be a community service district which funds some part of a hospital, with a private-sounding name. Some streets in private subdivisions, even within gated communities, are owned and operated by community service districts. An intersection may have been designed in an unsafe and defective way, such that the city, county or state might share in the responsibility for a collision. Flooding and erosion might be the result of defective improvements on nearby public lands or diversions of street water runoff from land further uphill.

In asbestos cases, the statute of limitation starts to run when a person is forced to stop working because of an asbestos related disease or condition. If a person takes a normal retirement, not because of an asbestos injury, then there is no statute of limitation. In the recent case of Pasadena v. Jauregui, the Sandra Jauregui claimed to have gotten mesothelioma from asbestos her father brought home on his work clothes. She sued a variety of manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos containing materials, and various property owners where her father had worked, including the City of Pasadena. Ms. Jauregui was diagnosed September 25, 2015, sued on October 5, 2015, but did not name Pasadena as a defendant until October 14, 2016, and never went through the required process of first sending the City a notice of claim. The Court of Appeal held that the claim against the City was barred.

In addition to finding out who to sue and whether you need to file a claim with a government agency, your attorney might also need to collect evidence before it disappears. Your accident might cause the installation of a stop sign, repainting a crosswalk, or upgrading a stop sign to a traffic signal. A dangerous drainage system might be repaired or improved. Damage will be repaired. Destroyed vehicles may be crushed and disposed of. Give your attorney a chance to build the best case possible by gathering as much evidence as is still available.

If you think you may have been the victim of personal injury, property damage or breach of contract, it’s never too early to talk about it with an attorney. There may be deadlines that are sooner than you think. It is very sad to tell a person who has been seriously harmed by bad conduct of another, that she or he cannot sue, because they waited too long.

If you or anyone you know has an issue like those discussed above, please call or email us.