There’s a two year statute of limitations in the State of Arizona on any personal injury case, and that statute of limitations is strictly construed. There are very few exceptions. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the time prescribed by the statute, you can be forever barred from proceeding further. If you’re going to claim that the City of Phoenix caused your personal injury, there’s another statute that you need to deal with. That’s the notice of claim statute found at Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-821.01. Most people don’t even know that the statute exists.
The Legislative Intent
The purported purpose of the notice of claim statute is to allow a public entity to investigate and evaluate liability and allow the possibility of entering into a settlement before a lawsuit is filed. It operates to weed out meritless claims while also helping governmental entities in setting aside money for meritorious claims.
The claim notice must be served within 180 days of the date that a personal injury cause of action accrues. That’s generally 180 days from the date of an accident. Section 12-801.1(A) sets out certain requirements that must be contained in the claim notice. Sufficient facts must be set forth in the notice that would allow the governmental entity to understand the theory on which liability is claimed. Even if the entity has actual notice of the facts of the case, the notice is required.
Section 12-801.1 also requires the claimant to disclose the specific amount for which his or her claim can be settled. An actual and precise sum must be demanded. The entity must be able to ascertain the precise amount can be settled at. Failure to disclose that exact amount can constitute defective notice.
Failure to Comply
A claim that isn’t properly drafted and timely served bars an injured person in a perfectly meritorious case from proceeding further. Any lawsuit seeking compensation for damages from the occurrence alleged will be dismissed forever.
You’ll want to speak with us right away about any accident that you claim the City of Phoenix was responsible for. If we’re retained to represent you, we’ll draft and serve a timely claim. Contact us as soon as possible after your accident to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. No attorney fees are even even owed unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.