The old saying, “You can’t fight City Hall,” does contain a sliver of truth. You can launch a claim against a municipality, but if you drag your feet, you limit your chances for winning any form of compensation. You must adhere to the government-created timeline.
How does that timeline differ from the one used when the victim of an accident intends to sue a private citizen? If you plan to sue a municipality, you must notify that same municipality of your intentions. Moreover, you or your personal injury lawyer in Sarnia must fulfill that requirement within 10 days of the injury-causing incident.
What to include in the required letter?
• Give the date, time and location of the incident that caused you to file a claim.
• Include pictures of any damage or any injuries.
• Describe the location and include pictures of that same spot.
• Offer details on the cost of care, while you recovered from your injury.
• Provide details on the suggested treatment.
• Get a copy of any notes in the report submitted by your treating physician; insert that copy in the packet that contains your letter.
• Obtain an estimate for what it could cost to repair any damaged property. If some damaged item must be replaced, state the cost of such a replacement.
• Add weight to the estimate of repairs for damages; include any documents that substantiate the claimed damages.
• If you have the names and contact information of any witnesses, share that information with the person that will be reading your letter.
Understand the letter’s primary purpose
The facts presented in the packet that contains written specifications of your intentions, should showcase the basis for your charge against the city. Each fact should offer support to your claim that the same city was negligent. In other words, it has demonstrated careless and neglectful actions, when dealing with an issue that affects public safety.
By mentioning the date and time of the incident, you push the city’s leaders to search for any previous letters that address a similar issue. Did the city take action, after receiving that particular letter? If it did not, then the city’s actions could indeed by described as careless and neglectful.
Why the letter might fail to help with winning any compensation for your injuries
It could be that someone called the negligent municipality before the date of your letter’s arrival. In that case, action might have already been taken. Those familiar with the workings of the law appreciate the futile nature of filing a complaint about a city’s failed actions, if that mistake has already been corrected.
Sometimes a city’s workers can complete the needed correction in a period of less than 24 hours. That quick action destroys any claim.