How long do I have to file a claim against a public entity or employee? What is a Notice of Claim?

In Arizona, any person who has a claim against a public entity is required to file a Notice of Claim with that entity within 180 days. The notice must contain the proper information including facts and an amount for which you are willing to settle your claim.  That document must be served on the proper person(s) before the deadline or you will lose any rights you may have had to pursue your claim.  This is a prerequisite to any court action against the public entity.  It is also required before filing a complaint in any one of the various courts in Arizona.

I can’t tell you how many people fall victim to this Arizona requirement.  The case law is very clear that a Notice of Claim must be properly served.  It doesn’t matter if the government entity or employee has actual notice of the claim, if you fail to properly serve one of them, that party will be immune to any further liability on your claim. Know your rights and find an attorney before it’s too late.

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