Court Finds Oral Notice Insufficient to Comply with Notice Requirement of Claim Against City

Sometimes, even when an individual has a valid claim, a failure to comply with procedural requirements can destroy one’s case. In a recent case, one man’s claim came to a halt after he failed to provide written notice within the required period.

StepsThe plaintiff fell down a set of stairs at City Hall and had to go to the emergency room for injuries he suffered as a result. He alleged that he tripped on an uneven stair tread. Almost six months later, the man spoke to an officer in the finance department at City Hall about his fall and medical expenses. A few weeks later, he provided the city with written notice that he was filing a claim, and he filed a claim against the city a few months later.

The city argued that the plaintiff filed his claim too late, since he filed his written notice after 180 days. Under state law, a written notice of claim against a governmental entity had to be filed within 180 days of the incident. The plaintiff argued that he complied with the statute, since although his notice was filed after 180 days, he had spoken to a city official beforehand, and they were aware of the incident and were not prejudiced as a result.

The state’s supreme court ruled in favor of the city. The court held that a person cannot provide only oral notice to comply with the state’s laws, and that written notice must always be filed within the 180 days. The court explained that while sometimes exceptions have been made for individuals who filed within the 180-day period whose claims were deficient in some other aspect, written notice is always required. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s oral notice was insufficient, and his claim was defeated.

Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act

Under the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, a civil personal injury claim against a local public entity or its employees must be commenced within one year of the injury or one year of the cause of action accruing. However, claims against local public entities or employees resulting from deficient patient care must be brought within two years of the injury or death, or when the individual knew or should have known that the injury or death had occurred, or when the individual received notice in writing of its existence, whichever comes first. In addition, a claim resulting from patient care must always be brought within four years of the alleged wrongful act.

Do You Have a Claim Against a Government Entity?

If you have been injured as a result of a governmental entity’s negligent or wrongful conduct, you may be able to file a claim against the entity. However, there are strict filing requirements, and it is imperative to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Illinois attorneys at Moll Law Group have experience in complicated cases that deal with issues of immunity. Our lawyers are here to help you file your claim and seek the compensation you deserve. To learn more, call us at 312-462-1700 or fill out our consultation form to arrange a free initial consultation.

See More Posts:

Spring 2016 Moll Law Group College Scholarship Winner is . . ., Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, April 18, 2016.

Evidence of Lack of Insurance Determined Irrelevant in Car Accident Claim, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2016.

Woman Injured by Hot Air Balloon While Standing in Line Permitted to Sue Despite Signed Waiver, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, May 11, 2016.