Sometimes, there are city public utilities that are neglected. At times, cities may be actively working on curing the issues of public roads and sidewalks one section at a time. Other times, the city may not be actively making any improvements towards the issue. Potholes are a major cause of vehicles getting damaged and possible accidents happening that lead to personal injury. If you are hurt in an accident that was caused by the negligence of the city's roads, you have a different fight than proving that someone else was at fault. Here is how to get started on a case against your city.
Call a police officer
If you are trying to prove damage because of a pothole, you will need lots of pictures and a police report. If the police can come to the scene of the accident and verify that you sustained a personal injury due to an accident caused by city property, this will make your case a little easier. Get a copy of the report and make sure that it has the information of the responding officer in the event that you need a witness statement for proof to the city.
Lodge a formal complaint
If you have been personally injured in an accident due to a pothole, you should file a formal complaint with the city. The best way to do this is to see a lawyer after you have been to the hospital. They can help you draft up a complaint and submit the complaint to the correct city department. This will put the city on notice of your personal injury and give them time to settle.
Start an investigation
Along with your lawyer, look for other possible complaints about the same area or the same issue that caused you personal injury. If your injury was caused by a pothole, you should try to find out if others have made the same complaints to the city. Nowadays, you may be able to find some of this information on facebook or via consumer advocates in your town. Proving that this was a known issue can help you to win your case in court against the city.
Determine your own settlement amount
Most cities and states would prefer to settle claims for undisclosed amounts rather than go to court. Be prepared to settle your lawsuit through mediation with your attorney, such as Walsh Fewkes Sterba, and the attorneys that represent the city. Allow your attorney to lead in the talks about a settlement amount that will take care of the compensation that you deserve. Submitting a modest settlement amount that is within a reasonable window may mean that your terms are accepted.
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