What do you do if you are injured by a County or City employee in Alabama, or if the County or City do something wrong to cause your injury? If you are injured in Alabama by a City or County Employee, there are special rules you must abide by in order to present your claim. These rules center around filing the appropriate affidavit of claim to the appropriate governmental entity within the appropriate time. What are these rules?
Limitation periods for presentation of claims against municipalities.
All claims against the municipality (except bonds and interest coupons and claims for damages) shall be presented to the clerk for payment within two years from the accrual of said claim or shall be barred. Claims for damages growing out of torts shall be presented within six months from the accrual thereof or shall be barred.
Filing of statement as to manner of injury, damages claimed, etc.
No recovery shall be had against any city or town on a claim for personal injury received, unless a sworn statement be filed with the clerk by the party injured or his personal representative in case of his death stating substantially the manner in which the injury was received, the day and time and the place where the accident occurred and the damages claimed.
Limitation period for presentation of claims.
All claims against counties must be presented for allowance within 12 months after the time they accrue or become payable or the same are barred, unless it be a claim due to a minor or to a lunatic, who may present such claim within 12 months after the removal of such disability.
Claims to be itemized, registered and filed.
No claim against the county shall be passed upon or allowed by the county commission unless it is itemized by the claimant or some person in his behalf having personal knowledge of the facts and all claims passed upon and allowed according to this section must be entered in the order in which they are allowed in a book kept for that purpose and filed for future reference within two weeks after the meeting at which such allowances were made, and the claim must show whether or not any part thereof has been paid.
Once you have filed these affidavits, you may file the lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, i.e.: two years for a car wreck.
In other words, you must file a claim against a City for wrongful death or injury within six (6) months. you must file a claim against a County within twelve (12) months. And, each claim has specific requirements which must be included.
In addition, there is a cap on the damages you may recover from a City or County:
When municipality liable; joint liability of other persons or corporations.
However, no recovery may be had under any judgment or combination of judgments, whether direct or by way of indemnity under Section 11-47-24, or otherwise, arising out of a single occurrence, against a municipality, and/or any officer or officers, or employee or employees, or agents thereof, in excess of a total $100,000 per injured person up to a maximum of $300,000 per single occurrence, the limits set out in the provisions of Section 11-93-2 notwithstanding.
Maximum amount of damages recoverable against governmental entities; settlement or compromise of claims not to exceed maximum amounts.
The recovery of damages under any judgment against a governmental entity shall be limited to $100,000.00 for bodily injury or death for one person in any single occurrence. Recovery of damages under any judgment or judgments against a governmental entity shall be limited to $300,000.00 in the aggregate where more than two persons have claims or judgments on account of bodily injury or death arising out of any single occurrence. Recovery of damages under any judgment against a governmental entity shall be limited to $100,000.00 for damage or loss of property arising out of any single occurrence. No governmental entity shall settle or compromise any claim for bodily injury, death or property damage in excess of the amounts hereinabove set forth.
So, no matter how much you are damaged, you may only recover $100,000 from a City or County which is better than the State – $0.00. This amount is per individual so if two (2) individuals are injured, they can each recover $100,000.00.
Here is a kicker for you though. What if a city employee runs his city truck into your car causing you to have a broken arm and a broken ankle and surgery? If your medical bills are $100,000.00, you cannot recover more than your medical bills because the cap is $100,000.00. But, you think to yourself, "That’s okay. I have uninsured motorist coverage, so I can access that from my own policy." WRONG!!!!!
You can only recover from your own uninsured motorist coverage for those claims against individuals or companies in which you are legally entitled to recover. Since you got $100,000.00 from the City and since there is a $100,000.00 cap by law, you are not legally entitled to recover more than the $100,000.00 so you cannot recover from your own policy even though you paid premiums for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.