California has its own pathway construction agency. This agency is called the California Department of Transportation, or more commonly referred to as “Caltrans.” Caltrans manages the state’s highway system, including the Expressway System and California Freeway. It is also involved in public transportation systems throughout California.
Some car accidents are not induced by the drivers at all, but instead the conditions of the roads. In many cases, a falling objects or debris from Caltrans workers can cause drivers to crash.
If a person is in a crash that was triggered by the dangerous negligence of city employees, contractors, or state Caltrans you may be entitled to compensation.
Attorneys for Caltrans Lawsuits in Los Angeles, CA
Did you suffer from a serious personal injury or was your loved one killed due to the negligence of the California Department of Transportation? If the answer is yes, then contact Yarian & Associates, APC to discuss your case.
Claims against Caltrans are filed with the Government Claims Program with the Office of Risk and Insurance Management in the Department of General Services. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys can help you formally demand compensation for your loss and file a lawsuit to settle your claims.
Filing a claim against Caltrans can be incredibly intimidating. You need an attorney who is familiar with filing these suits. Contact Yarian & Associates, APC for an experienced personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in the process. We have offices throughout the North and Western California area including Los Angeles, Glendale, Fresno, Visalia, Irvine, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
Dial (844) 291-1911 to contact a personal injury attorney today.
Overview of Claims against Caltrans in California
California Department of Transportation’s Responsibilities
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is required to make constant repairs on roadways. This includes freeway and highway guardrail repairs. Caltrans is also responsible for replacing improperly installed or missing medians, setting up construction zones properly, and put up warnings to drivers for hazards like sinkholes or trenches.
Caltrans is also supposed to give appropriate training to all their personnel. It is the California Department of Transportation’s duty to minimize traffic accidents. Repairs done in an unacceptable manner can cause serious injury or even wrongful death if an accident occurs.
Common Dangers due to Caltrans Negligence
If an injury was caused by the state’s repairs, construction, metro department, etc., Caltrans may be liable. Liability for these damages should not rest on the shoulders of the victim. It can be overwhelming to file a claim against the state, however, to keep the roads safe it can be necessary.
Some examples of common dangers caused by Caltrans negligence include:
- Falling Objects – Some examples include cement dust, concrete, or another foreign residue that can induce an accident.
- Unrepaired Potholes – Although this may seem minor, some potholes can create lasting damages.
- Failure to Install a Manhole Cover – Sometimes, there are instances of Caltrans not properly covering a manhole or trench. Manholes, at times, don’t even have a cover at all. A pedestrian could plunge straight to their death, or a car could fall in and have lasting damages.
- Caltrans Repair Vehicles – Around California roadways, you may spy Caltrans repair vehicles. If the vehicles do not have their loads of supplies, chemicals, equipment, or cargo secured then an accident may occur. Incidents of Caltrans cargo toppling over passenger cars or even motorcyclists is a huge possibility.
Common Injuries from Caltrans Inattention
Some frequent injuries resulting from Caltrans negligence include but are not limited to:
- Busted windshields
- Scratches to paint
- Chipped custom wheels
- Serious car frame damage
- Bent wheels
- Blown tires
- Destroyed car
- Severe head wounds
- Lacerations and Abrasions
- Blindness from flying objects
- Deafness or hearing loss from explosions
- Psychological trauma
- Wrongful death
Steps to Take After a Caltrans Induced Accident
Certain tips can help guide you to a successful lawsuit against Caltrans. If you were injured in a Caltrans induced accident you should take the following steps:
- Get medical care immediately;
- Take pictures of the accident scene. If you can, right after the collision;
- Collect X-Rays, MRIS, or other medically done tests to prove your injuries;
- Keep a journal; take videos and pictures of your healing process. This is to have a progression record of your injury as time passes;
- Do not speak to anyone about your case other than your attorney. In addition to this, make sure you have a signed retainer; and
- File your government claim within six months.
Deadline for Filing Claims Against Caltrans in Los Angeles, CA
The Government Claims Program (GCP) processes claims for money or damages against the state of California. In July of 2016, these functions were transferred from the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to the Department of General Services.
Before filing a lawsuit against the state of California or its employees for damages, the personal injury attorney might first pursue an administrative remedy through the GCP claims process. If that claim is rejected or denied, then a lawsuit can be pursued through the courts. Some cases are resolved through the GCP process.
Claims for death or injury to a person against Caltrans in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas throughout California, must be filed within six months after the incident occurred. All other claims must be filed within one year after the incident occurred. If the claim deadline is missed, the claimant must file a “leave to present a late claim” within one year.
A successful claim will prove four things:
- There was a road that created an unreasonable risk of harm or injury or was defective;
- An entity was in charge of the roadway that caused the damages;
- The entity either had a warning or actual notice and within a reasonable amount of time did not go to correct the issue; and
- An unsafe or defective condition of the roadway was the direct cause.
Lawsuits Against Caltrans for Personal Injury – Lower level claims against the California Department of Transportation (often called “Caltrans”) for less than $10,000 can be filed using form LD-0274, Claim Against Department of Transportation for Amounts $10,000 or Less. Most of these claims are for damages to personal property. The forms must be completed, signed and returned with supporting documents to the appropriate Caltrans District Claims Office. Each of the 62 counties in California is covered by a specific Caltrans District Claims Office. Claims in Los Angeles County are filed in the District 7 Office located at 100 South Main St., 13th floor, MS 19 in Los Angeles, CA.
Claims Related to the Provision of Goods / Services to Caltrans – Visit the website of the California Division of Procurement and Contracts if the claim for damages is related to the provision of goods and/or services to Caltrans, with or without a contract, and seeks $10,000 or less. Use form ADM-3016 Equity Claims of $10,000 or Less (Other Than Employee Claims).
Locating a Lawyer for Caltrans Claims in L.A, California
If road conditions are unsafe, the California Department of Transportation may be liable. If you have been injured in an accident caused by Caltrans, it is vital that you contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC are experienced in handling cases against the state. Do not let your suffering go unnoticed. Contact an attorney at Yarian & Associates, APC today.
All the attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC are practiced in state cases, and are knowledgeable of laws regarding Caltrans responsibilities. Do not be overwhelmed by the Caltrans department. Get in touch with us today; we have offices throughout the Los Angeles County and Tulare County areas including surrounding cities such as Long Beach, Glendale, Los Angeles, Irvine, Visalia, Riverdale, Norwalk, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.
Dial (844) 291-1911 or submit an online contact form for a free zero obligation consultation today.
This article was last updated on June 19th, 2018.