For example, last November the driver of a city garbage truck attempted to make an illegal turn by pulling into another lane and then moving in reverse through the intersection. According Channel 10 News out of San Diego, as the driver attempted to change course with his oversized vehicle, truck struck a 9-year-old boy named Luke Acuna, who was riding his skateboard home from school. The collision resulted in the boy losing one of his legs.
Now, several months later, as medical bills continue to pile up for Luke’s family, his parents are filing a lawsuit against the city of San Diego in an effort to get compensation for Luke’s injuries, as well as some assistance with the huge financial burden that he and his parents will now have to bear. An attorney for the family estimates that over Luke’s lifetime, his care will cost millions of dollars. This will include things like surgeries, medications, in-home care, rehabilitation, and hopefully, one day, a prosthetic leg for Luke. In addition, his family may have to move to another house or at least make modifications to their home in order to allow him to get around in a wheelchair. While they are hopeful that one day Luke will be fitted for a prosthetic leg, his injuries were such that he may not ever regain enough control to be capable of using one.
As our San Diego county negligence lawyer can tell you, suing a government entity in California is not as simple as suing an individual or a private company. Because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity, governments can determine what they will and will not allow citizens to bring before a court. California negligence law requires the injured party to file a special claim with a government entity before filing a lawsuit. The claim must be filed within six months of the injury, even where the statute of limitations for filing suit is longer. Once the special claim is filed, the government must respond within 45 days. If the claim is accepted, then a settlement will typically be reached. However, if the government rejects the claim, as the city of San Diego apparently did in this case, then a lawsuit can be filed. Failing to follow these steps to the letter can result in your claim being barred, so it is very important to speak to an injury attorney well before the six months have passed.
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