The Maine Supreme Court recently released a decision that emphasizes the importance of following procedural requirements in filing a personal injury lawsuit, especially in cases in which the defendant is a governmental entity. The case of Deschenes v. City of Sanford was filed by the plaintiff after he fell down an allegedly dangerous staircase at the Sanford city hall and was injured from the fall.
The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the city, although he did not give them a formal notice of claim until over 180 days after the injury occurred. Although the plaintiff had given the city oral notice of his injury, the city asked the court to rule in their favor and deny the plaintiff’s claim, based on the state requirement that plaintiffs must file a lawsuit against a government entity in Maine within 180 days of the alleged negligence.
Both Courts Agree that Oral Notice Is Not Sufficient to Comply with the Procedural Requirements
The plaintiff’s argument at the district court and on appeal was that he gave the city oral notice of his injury after it occurred, and he requested compensation for his injuries in person within 180 days of the accident. Both the district court and the Maine Supreme Court found that an official notice of claim needed to be provided in writing by the man or his attorney to comply with the state sovereign immunity act, and that the plaintiff’s oral request for compensation was not sufficient under the act. Based on the court’s decision to uphold the lower court’s decision, the plaintiff will not be compensated for his medical bills and injuries based on the alleged negligence of the city.
Florida’s Sovereign Immunity Act
A South Florida personal injury or negligence lawsuit that is filed against a government entity must comply with Florida state law in order for a plaintiff to be entitled to relief. Florida Statute 45.768.28 controls how a claim may be brought against a government entity in Florida. There are various requirements that apply to such claims that would not apply in a standard negligence lawsuit. The time limit for filing a Miami negligence lawsuit against a Florida government entity ranges from six months to three years, depending on the type of lawsuit that is filed. Florida accident victims should always consult with a qualified Miami injury attorney to ensure that all procedural requirements are met and increase their chances of being fairly compensated for their injuries.
Are You a Victim of Negligence?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident or by a dangerous condition on public or private property, the skilled South Florida injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank can advise and represent you in your claim for damages. Our South Florida accident lawyers are highly qualified, and we will aggressively fight for the compensation that you deserve. Insurance companies and governmental agencies have legal teams dedicated to avoiding responsibility for the negligence of their clients and employees, and you deserve the same level of representation to fight for your rights. At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we represent clients in Miami and throughout South Florida in most personal injury and wrongful death cases, including negligence cases. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact us toll-free at 877-448-8585 or via our online contact form. Se habla Español / Nou Parlé Creole.
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State Supreme Court Reverses $4.5 Million Award in Auto Accident Case, April 14, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog
Judgment in Favor of County Fair Association Affirmed after Plaintiff Injured During Free Fireworks Display, April 21, 2016, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog