WHAT IS A CLAIM?
Pursuant to the California Government Code, in most cases a claim must be filed if you are seeking money damages from the City and/or one of its employees. With very limited exceptions, no lawsuit for money damages may be brought against the City or any of its employees unless a written claim has been properly filed with the City.
WARNING: The submission of a false claim is a crime (Penal Code § 72). The City of Lynwood may seek to recover all costs of defense, including attorney’s fees and City resources used in defending the case, in the event a lawsuit is filed against the City which is determined not to be brought in good faith and based upon reasonable cause.
CLAIM FILING TIME-FRAMES
Claims for death, injury to person or to personal property must be filed no longer than six (6) months after the date of occurrence (Government Code § 911.2).
Any other claim, including, but not limited to, claims for damages to real property, must be filed no later than one (1) year after the occurrence (Government Code § 911.2(a)).
WHO IS THE CITY’S INSURANCE COMPANY?
With some exceptions, the City is self-insured.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO FILE A CLAIM?
No. Any member of the public can file a claim on their own behalf. You can also consult with an attorney, or have an attorney file a claim on your behalf. If you have any questions about how or when to file a claim and/or lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney. The City will not provide you with an attorney.
CAN CITY PERSONNEL FILL OUT THE FORM FOR ME?
No. City personnel cannot provide legal advice or assist you in filling out a claim. Only the claimant or his or her representative or attorney can fill out and file a claim.
THE FORM DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL MY INFORMATION
If you need additional room, fill out and attach a piece of paper to the Claim Form.
DO I NEED TO SUBMIT DOCUMENTS? PICTURES? REPORTS? DIAGRAMS?
Please include all information which describes and supports your claims. This may include pictures, diagrams, medical records, invoices and police reports. These documents do not have to be submitted when you file your claim. You can submit supporting documents through the online portal or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please reference the claim number on the email subject line.
WILL I BE NOTIFIED IF INFORMATION IS MISSING FROM THE FORM?
You will be advised if your claim has insufficient information. The investigator/ adjuster assigned to your claim will contact you to request any additional information.
DOES EVERY PAGE ON THE FORM NEED TO BE SIGNED?
No. The Claim Form only needs to be signed once.
WHAT IF I RECEIVED AN ERROR MESSAGE SUBMITTING MY CLAIM ONLINE?
If you have problems submitting a claim online, detach any documents and attempt to resubmit only the claim form. The documents can be submitted through the claims portal, via email or mail.
If you continue to have problems submitting a claim online, submit a claim in writing by mail or in person to the Office of Human Resources.
I AM ABLE TO SUBMIT MY CLAIM, BUT UNABLE TO ATTACH IMAGES, PICTURES, DOCTORS NOTES, ETC. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Documents can be submitted through the claims portal or via email. You can also submit documents to your investigator/adjuster via mail or email when they contact you.
SHOULD I RECEIVE A CLAIM NUMBER AFTER A CLAIM HAS BEEN SUBMITTED?
After your claim is submitted, you will receive a claim number. Please use that number to reference your claim in all communications with your assigned adjuster/investigator.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY CLAIM IS FILED?
After a claim is filed, it will be:
- Transferred to the Office for handling
- A claims investigator/ adjuster will investigate your claim
- Your claim will be denied or the City will accept liability
- If the City accepts liability, the assigned adjuster/investigator will offer compensation to settle the claim
- To settle the claim, the claimant must execute a Release Agreement
- The City issues settlement checks after receipt of the Release Agreement
HOW CAN I CHECK THE STATUS OF MY CLAIM?
To check the status of your claim, contact your assigned adjuster/investigator. You can also contact the Human Resource via email at email@example.com, or by phone at (310) 603-0220 ext 522.
WHEN ARE CLAIMS PAID?
Claims are paid after the City confirms liability, the parties agree to a settlement amount, a release is executed, and a check is issued by the City Third Party Administrator (TPA).
WHY WAS MY CLAIM DENIED?
If your claim has been denied, you will be informed in writing why your claim was denied. If you have additional questions, you can contact your assigned adjuster/investigator, or you can contact the Human Resource via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (310) 603-0220 ext 522.
If you have questions which are not addressed above, or you are concerned about the status of your claim, contact the Human Resource via email at email@example.com, or by phone at (310) 603-0220 ext 522.
WARNING: The Human Resource Office cannot provide you with legal advice, or advise you on how to complete a claim form. If you have any questions about how or when to file a claim and/or lawsuit, please consult with an attorney.