Statute of Limitations for Claims Against the Government

When you have been injured by a government employee’s negligence, you may have a civil claim against the agency. The process for filing a lawsuit against a government entity begins with notifying the agency that you intend to file the lawsuit,  and the timeline to provide this notice is very short. Whether your claim is against a city, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, or the Federal government, you need an experienced litigation attorney at S.L. England, PLLC to navigate the legal system for you while working within tight statutes of limitations.

CLAIMS AGAINST THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

If you have a claim against the Commonwealth of Virginia, you must notify the government within one year that you intend to file a lawsuit. This notification must be in writing and include the time and place of your injury or property damage and the agency liable. Notice must be sent to the Director of the Division of Risk Management or the Attorney General.

Virginia has nine transportation districts. If you were injured in an accident on a state-maintained road, bridge, or tunnel due to the transportation district’s negligence, such as a motor vehicle accident caused by improper road maintenance, you need to give notice to the Chairman of the Commission of the applicable transportation district within one year of the date of the accident. If your claim is against the Department of Transportation, you must notify the Commissioner of Highways, who will forward your claim to the Attorney General.

If your claim is against a county, city, or town in Virginia, you have only six months to give notice to the local government’s attorney or the mayor.

The one exception to these statutes of limitations is a child injury claim. In these cases, the child has until their nineteenth birthday to give notice of a personal injury claim to the Commonwealth of Virginia or a local government.

CLAIMS AGAINST THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

If you intend to file a lawsuit against the District of Columbia, you have only six months from the date of injury to notify the Office of Risk Management. This notice can be a demand letter, or you can use one of the Office of Risk Management’s forms for common types of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, property damage, and personal injury. You must provide the date and time of the injury as well as a thorough explanation of your injury’s cause.

Provide your attorney with any medical bills, medical records, police reports, damage estimates, or other relevant documents. Your attorney will use this information to prepare the notice and may submit copies relevant documents to the Office of Risk Management.

CLAIMS AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals who are injured or sustain property damage caused by a Federal government employee acting within the scope of their duties to file a claim against the Federal government for reimbursement. Active duty service members may not file claims against the Federal government under the FTCA.

The statute of limitations for filing a claim under the FTCA is two years from the date of the incident.

As with other government agencies, if you have a claim against the Federal government, you must file written notice with the Associate General Counsel in the Division of Legal Counsel within two years of the date of the incident. This notice must show that you sustained an injury or your property was damaged by a Federal employee; that the employee was acting within the scope of their official duties; that the employee was negligent; and that the negligent act caused your injury or property damages.

DO YOU NEED TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST A GOVERNMENT AGENCY?

Whether your claim is against a local government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, or the Federal government, the experienced attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, have the litigation experience you need in the courtroom. We understand the short statutes of limitations for filing claims against government agencies and we are ready to fight for you in any level court. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.

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