How To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the City of Clearwater for Negligence

Who is responsible if you slip and fall on an uneven public sidewalk and are injured? Or if you are injured in a car accident at an intersection that had faulty traffic lights? What if you are a bicyclist who was struck by a city employee driving during the course of their job?

In each of these situations, the city (or county) responsible for those sidewalks, roads, or employees may be ultimately responsible. You may be able to recover compensation against the city for your injuries, but such lawsuits against a public entity are subject to limitations that don’t apply in personal injury lawsuits against an individual.

If you were injured in an accident in Clearwater and believe the City may be responsible, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to review your case and help you pursue compensation. Your first consultation with us is free.

When Can a City Be Sued for Negligence?

State and local governments have a degree of protection from lawsuits from private individuals due to sovereign immunity, which is the principle that a government cannot be sued without its consent. However, there are exceptions.

Florida law allows individuals to sue the state, its subdivisions, or agencies for torts, which includes personal injury cases. The Florida Tort Claims Act says that the state, and its agencies and subdivisions, may be sued for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of their employees, committed while acting within the scope of their employment.

However, the law also provides several limitations on suing the government, including:

  • The state or local government cannot be sued for punitive damages.
  • Limits the amount of compensation that can be recovered to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.
  • The government employee from being sued individually, unless their actions amounted to willful misconduct or an intentional violation of law.
  • The state or local government has the right to appeal any award or settlement in the case.

The law aims to compensate injured parties while conserving limited government resources.

How Long Do I Have To File a Claim Against the City of Clearwater?

If you were injured in an accident due to the negligence of a local government or its employees, then you should seek compensation for your injuries. There are specific procedures that apply to filing a claim against the government, though.

First, you must send notice, in writing, of the incident to the city or local government. The notice must be sent to the relevant government agency department, such as the City of Clearwater Risk Management Division. The government entity has 180 days to respond to your claim.

While this notice can be sent online, you should consider consulting an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney and letting them send notice to the City. This will ensure that you are notifying the correct entity and demanding full compensation for your injuries. 

If the city or local government denies your claim for damages, or if 180 days have passed with no decision or response, then you can file a lawsuit in court. However, your lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. 

Contact an Experienced Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

If you were injured in an accident and you believe the City of Clearwater may be responsible, you can seek compensation from the City. These claims can be complex, and it’s crucial that you follow the notice requirements for suing a local government.

Let our experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys review your case and navigate you through this process.

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg personal injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728