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Caltrans’ Claims Procedure: How To File a Claim for Compensation

by Louise W. Rice
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Did you recently get injured after a car accident in California? Do you feel that poor road conditions led to the accident? If so, you may consider filing a claim against Caltrans to get the compensation you deserve.

Caltrans is the construction agency in charge of repairing and constructing roadways in California. The organization is responsible for handling the California Freeway, Expressway system, and highway system. When filing a Caltrans claim, follow the tips and requirements below.

Ready to learn more about the claims procedure? Then, read on!

The Top Tips To Follow When Filing a Claim Against Caltrans

To file a claim against California’s roadway construction agency, follow the basic steps outlined below.

  • Taking photos of the accident
  • Calling the police after the car crash
  • Hiring an experienced lawyer
  • Proving road conditions were inferior
  • Producing witnesses for the claim

Take Photos of the Car Accident

When you take pictures of the automobile accident, track the victims’ injuries, the damage to cars, and potential property damage. Further, show the inferior road conditions that led to the accident.

You’ll also need to collect all medical bills and car repair fees from the mechanic.

Call the Police And/Or Ambulance

If any injuries occur due to the car crash, make sure to call an ambulance. Further, call the police to investigate the accident. That way, the police force can play a role in presenting useful evidence in your lawsuit against Caltrans. With the help of the police, you should gain compensation for your damages.

Hire an Attorney Experienced In Car Accident Lawsuits

You will need to hire a personal injury lawyer with experience in filing car accident lawsuits. Make sure your attorney has a high success rate in getting compensation for clients.

Your attorney will help collect evidence, conduct investigations, and gather the appropriate documentation.

Prove the Inferior Road Conditions Led to the Automobile Accident

To succeed against Caltrans in your lawsuit, the attorney will need to prove that a dangerous road that wasn’t repaired promptly caused your car crash.

Essentially, the lawyer will need to show how Caltrans acted negligently and did not repair the road to prevent your accident.

Provide Witnesses for the Trial

If any people were at the site of the accident, try to get their names and contact details to serve as possible witnesses in your trial. That way, you can have an eyewitness at your trial to explain how the poor road conditions led to your car crash.

The Requirements for Filing a Claim Against Caltrans

You should first file a claim with Caltrans directly before filing a lawsuit. You can file a claim for damages to personal property, personal injuries, or wrongful death. When your claim amount is $10,000 or less, you should file directly with Caltrans.

Yet, if your claim is more than $10,000 in damages or finds liability with another agency, you will need to file a claim with the Government Claims Program.

How Much Time Do You Have To File the Claim?

The laws of California state that, when filing a claim against a government agency, you will need to file the claim within six months after an incident. The basic factors that the incident must have caused include the following:

  • Damages to personal property
  • Personal injuries
  • Wrongful death

How to Prove Caltrans’ Liability in Your Car Accident

To prove how Caltrans has liability in your car crash, your lawyer will need to show the following:

  • Caltrans is responsible for maintaining the roadway where the accident occurred
  • The roadway was dangerous enough to cause the accident
  • The victim’s injuries resulted from the dangerous roadway conditions
  • Caltrans knew about the defective roadways and did not fix the problem within a reasonable amount of time

The Final Word

Follow the tips outlined above when filing a claim against Caltrans. You may benefit from hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.

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