How to File a Personal Injury Claim Against a State or Federal Employee
Currently, there are about 20 million people working in the public sector in the United States. In other words, approximately 15% of the country’s workforce is in federal, state, or local jobs. Local governments, with 14 million employees, and state governments, with more than 5.5 million, hold the majority of jobs. Among the services with the most public workers, education is the sector with the most employees, with more than 11 million. This is followed by health services and public safety. The latter is often the focus of the most frequent personal injury complaints among all employees, both state and federal.
Considering the number of people working in the public sector, it is normal that some situations of personal injury may occur. Hospitals, schools, and police officers, among others, coexist with citizens on a daily basis. How many of them can commit negligent acts or misconduct that can physically or psychologically injure the people with whom they interact?
Read on in this post if you want more information on how to sue a municipality, the state of California, or the federal government.
Can I Sue the State or Federal Government?
The answer is clear, yes. Generally, a personal injury claim can be brought against the government. This includes any negligence or misconduct caused by either a federal agency or a public employee. Because there are different limitations and procedures for bringing a state or federal lawsuit, it is advisable to have some basic knowledge. In addition, you should have the assistance of a legal representative throughout the process.
How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In California?
As we mentioned above, the judicial procedure against government workers is different and takes time. First, you will have to file a notice or administrative claim within two years of the incident. Then, the California government will investigate your request and respond within six months. If compensation is not agreed upon, a lawsuit may be filed in federal court.
Cases Where You Can Sue for Personal Injury to a State or Federal Employee
When working in a private company, the responsibility for any accident due to injury or negligence at work is the employer. When we move this potential case to a public workplace, the responsible party is the Administration or the State. At Adamson Ahdoot we have compiled a list of the most common causes of claims against public employees:
- Car accidents involving government vehicles such as public buses, ambulances, fire trucks, or police officers.
- Cases of misconduct include physical or psychological violence, discrimination, racism, or excessive authority.
- Pain and suffering as a consequence of a minor or serious accident.
- Material damages. That is, if a state or federal worker acts negligently and causes damage and destruction to real estate or property.
- Poor condition of public space. It is the government’s responsibility to keep public areas in good condition. That is why citizens pay their taxes.
Most Recent Economic Settlements Following Complaints to Public Employees in California
Last November, several large settlements were issued for allegations of negligence by public workers. Los Angeles County paid $47 million for five cases of misconduct by sheriff’s deputies.
- Timothy Neal, $16.5M. A police officer shot him in the back, leaving him paralyzed. Neal was suffering from a bout of schizophrenia.
- Eric Briceño, $16.25M. The family alleges misconduct by a group of police officers, who beat and shot Briceño with a Taser, causing his death. The victim was in the midst of a mental breakdown.
- Andres Guardado, $8M. A sheriff’s deputy shot an 18-year-old in the back. Guardado was on his knees, hands on the ground when the accident occurred.
- Pedro Lopez, $5M. A group of police officers opened fire on a burglar in a Norwalk neighborhood. One of the shots hit Pedro Lopez, who was in his front yard.
- Rufino Paredes, $1.9M. Paredes committed suicide while in custody at the police station. The police officers arrested him while he was suffering a mental breakdown.
Although the most famous lawsuit cases usually have a police officer as the protagonist, there are many other imputable situations. Below are some of the most common cases in which a state or federal employee or government entity can be sued for personal injury.
David Ordaz Jr, One of California’s Most Notorious Cases in Recent Years
At Adamson Ahdoot, we are very knowledgeable about personal injury claims for state and federal employees. In the wake of the wrongful death of David Ordaz in 2021, our team of attorneys initiated legal action against several Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies. Specifically, for the misconduct of Officer Remin Pineda.
Pineda, along with other officers, responded to an emergency call from the family of Ordaz Jr. The father of three was in the midst of a mental breakdown, and they feared he would take his own life. Despite being aware of the situation, and despite having a psychological team on its way, the sheriff’s deputies acted on their own. Police negligence by Pineda and the other deputies led to the death of Ordaz Jr. According to the accusation filed by Adamson Ahdoot, the deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr. acted with excessive force, brutality, and abuse of authority.
In early November, Deputy Pineda was charged with a felony for shooting Ordaz Jr. as many as 12 times when he was already on the ground defenseless, suffering from a mental breakdown. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón charged Pineda with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and assault under the pretense of authority.
In addition, Gascón exposed the abuse of police power by many Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies. “Excessive and illegal force at the hands of police erodes public trust. It also creates further divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” he stated at a press conference.
Do You Need Legal Help Filing a Lawsuit Against a State Worker? Call Us Today
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a state or federal employee can seem like a difficult process. Not only in legal terms, but also because of the physical and mental exhaustion that an injury accident can cause. All of this, however, could be much simpler. With the right legal representation, the entire legal process and any needs you might have will be covered.
When seeking the legal services of Adamson Ahdoot, our goal is to provide the client with total satisfaction. We don’t just want to bring the guilty party to justice. We want to obtain the largest settlement possible for you. With our attorneys, you won’t have to worry about a thing. We will take care of any paperwork and fight for your interests. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we have extensive experience winning state and federal employee misconduct cases.
If you would like to file a claim against a government official for negligence that resulted in injury, call us today at (800) 310-1606. Contact a member of our team if you would like to learn more about your case. Your first consultation is completely free and with no obligation. Don’t speak English? We also have experienced personal injury attorneys who are fluent in Spanish.
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