How to Sue the Government Under the California Tort Claims Act

The California Tort Claims Act essentially aims to protect the state government from liability in certain personal injury cases. As a general rule, the Act states “a public entity is not liable for an injury” caused by the public entity or any of its employees. Many people know this rule as “sovereign immunity.”


Under the California Tort Claims Act, all claims for civil liability claims for “money damages” are covered. This pretty much includes everything from slip and fall accidents to medical negligence. However, there are exceptions to government’s immunity.

When the Government Can Be Held Liable
A government agency or entity can be held liable for personal injury damages in certain scenarios. These scenarios include:
Filing a Claim Under the Torts Claims Act
If you believe your situation falls into one of the above-mentioned scenarios where a government entity can be held liable, you will need to file a claim. Under the act, there is different protocol pertaining to filing based on who your claim is against.
Most claim forms seeking to file a lawsuit against a government entity include the following information:

There are also specific time limits regarding claims under the California Tort Claims Act. Before a lawsuit can be filed in court, the claimant must file a claim with the government agency within six months of the date of the injury. The government then has the option to accept or reject the claim within 45 days. If the government does not respond within 45 days, the claimant may file the lawsuit with the court.


Bringing an injury claim under the California Tort Claims Act can be extremely time consuming and complicated. If you have any questions about making a claim under the Act, or if you need advice regarding your case, it’s a great idea to talk to an experienced lawyer.

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