Can I Sue the City?
If you were injured while on public land or city property, contact a lawyer to help you determine the likelihood of your claim yielding a financial recovery. While cities, counties, and states must follow the laws they are sworn to enforce, suing a government body is more complicated than suing your neighbor.
Generally, ask yourself if it’s reasonable that the city be held responsible for your injury. Tripping and falling on an uneven sidewalk is not likely to be seen as a viable claim. However, if the city was negligent by improperly installing a handrail that broke when you used it, you can probably make a case for recovering the cost of medical bills and lost wages.
Many states protect governmental bodies with immunity from lawsuits. Generally, this immunity can be waived in the face of gross negligence. However, the immunity laws are broadly worded so as to provide as much protection for the city as possible. For example, if your car gets damaged in the course of high speed police chase because you didn’t move in time to allow the police to pass easily, the immunity laws will favor the police.
If you and your lawyer feel the city was grossly negligent, you might find the city is ready and willing to settle. Many cities self-insure — meaning there isn’t an insurance company to slow the process and question every claim. Don’t delay. When suing a government body, you will have to show a preponderance of evidence. But if you have a solid case, you might find the city willing to quickly pay your claim.