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NAMING GOVERNMENT DEFENDANTS IN A PRE-SUIT REQUIREMENTS IN FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY CASES

A person in Florida may be entitled to monetary compensation through a lawsuit filed by a personal injury attorney if such a one is injured due to the negligence of a government agency or employee. However, it is important to understand that there are certain requirements that these lawsuits must meet before they can be filed against government defendants. Else, there is a likelihood of the court dismissing the case of the accident victim even before it is heard.

In Florida, a pre-suit notice must be filed with the government entity that the accident victims are naming as a defendant. The pre-suit notice of a claim must be served to state and local government within 3 years of the accident which is according to Florida Statutes section 768.28. Information about the accident to be contained in the notice include;

– What is being requested

– The alleged acts of negligence

– The parties involved in the accident

Any subsequent lawsuit may be dismissed by the court if a pre-suit notice is not sufficient or not filed in the first place. A plaintiff’s experience involving an inaccurately drafted pre-suit notice was well-detailed in a recent appellate court opinion out of Georgia.

The case

While taking a walk on a paved street within the defendant’s city, the plaintiff suddenly stepped into an uncovered manhole and was injured. The report sent to the police department by the plaintiff contained the address of 425 Chappell Road. The uncovered manhole was located at the intersection of Mayson Turner Road and Chappell Road, according to the plaintiff’s explanation to the police.

In a bid to seek compensation for his injuries, the plaintiff later filed a personal injury lawsuit against the city in which 239 Chappell Road was listed as the address where the accident occurred. This complaint had no intersection listed in it.

In an attempt to examine the condition of the manhole where the plaintiff was allegedly injured, a pre-trial investigation had to be conducted by the city. But with the information provided, the city couldn’t locate the manhole. Later, it was determined that the manhole was actually located at 380 Chappell Road. When compared with the previously listed address, the later was approximately a half-mile away. The city presented evidence that proved that there were 20 manholes between the actual location provided by the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s pre-suit notice.

Since the city was unable to effectively investigate the accident due to the lack sufficient information in the pre-suit notice, it had to file a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s case. The court agreed to dismiss the plaintiff’s case based on the fact that the requirements of the notice are strictly established in the relevant statute which had no substantial compliance with its requirements.

Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal Injury attorney if you or your loved one has been recently injured in a Florida slip-and-fall accident.


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