without knowing the type of sewer drain, it's not that easy to remove the cover off these. Typically you need specialized tools. Given the nature and extent of your injuries you should get an attorney to get maintenance history on this drain. Even without, had it been uncovered for some time notice can be implied. My office is downtown on Weber and I'd be happy to meet for a free consult, 209-464-7700
You have a potentially strong claim, but I urge you to call an attorney to discuss it in detail. We have handle several cases involving grates missing and people sustaining injuries. There are many issues that need to be addressed, and you may need to comply with government claims deadlines which can be as short as 6 months fr the date of accident. Contact am attorney right away.
You need to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Do not wait as the statute of limitations for a government tort claim is six months. Many of us on avvo.com offer free consultations. Best of luck!
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Thank for contributing more details. I still think you should contact an attorney by phone to discuss all the specifics. Your injuries are so significant that a lawyer will give your case and the facts serious consideration. As you mention, it can be difficult to assign blame on a city. In the example of the homeless man, it would be hard to hold the city responsible unless if perhaps there was a pattern of this behavior on part of the vagrant. A skilled lawyer would have a chance to secure a settlement, but it would be a challenge proving negligence.
In your case circumstances that would be to your favor is whether there had been city maintenance soon before your accident suggesting that workers did not secure the area prior to leaving. This is just an example of one of the angles and type of research that would be done by the law firm you hire.
Please visit the link below for more information on public entity claims (injury claims involving the city). These are notoriously difficult to fight on your own. City attorneys will deny and delay your claim until it is too late for you to seek compensation. I can't recommend strongly enough that you consult with a skilled lawyer from Avvo in order to protect your rights.
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I agree with the prior responses that you need to retain an experienced attorney without delay who can look into the notice issue and other issues raised in your question. You can use the “Find a Lawyer” option on Avvo to find qualified personal injury attorneys to interview or contact any of the attorneys who responded to your inquiry. Good luck!
This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.
You should discuss with one of the CA attorneys who have answered your question. You would not necessarily have notice. Don't worry about that now, hire someone who has experience in these cases as you have been advised there is a very short statute of limitations. Good luck to you.
Use the Avvo search function to find a good personal injury attorney in your area.
This is only an Avvo answer. I am not getting paid to give this response and am basing this response only on the information provided to me in the above question.
Stockton may have a telephone line devoted to taking citizen complaints of pot holes, missing drain cover(s). Inspection schedules and records should be consulted. Neighbors might be canvassed for making complaints or, at least, for evidence of how long the cover(s) were missing. There may be negligence in not better securing the cover(s) esp. if prior incidents involving the same type of cover occurred.
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