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Damage to Real Property and Tort Law

By Peterson Law Group on November 15, 2023

A tree fallen down in front of a large brick home.

Damage to real property can be a significant concern in California, especially when it involves cases where a public entity may be at fault, such as a city or the State. Understanding the process of pursuing compensation for property damage is crucial, especially against a public entity, because special sets of rules apply.

The far-reaching consequences of sustaining damage to real estate affect not only the property’s physical structure but also the financial and operational aspects of property owners. In tort cases, where a public use or project, negligence, or wrongful acts may lead to property damage, addressing these issues becomes paramount. Property owners have the right to seek compensation for damages caused by the actions of others, including public entities.

California Tort Laws

The Government Tort Claims Act (Act) is a key legal framework that sets the path for pursuing compensation from the government for damages. It outlines the procedures and limitations for filing claims against government entities or employees. Under the Act, certain immunities are provided to public entities, and strict adherence to the prescribed, unique processes is essential for pursuing a valid claim for damages. Your property damage lawyer can help you navigate your case and ensure you are in accordance with the specific requirements at hand when filing your claim for compensation.

Types of Damage to Real Property

Real property damage attributable to the State can take various forms, ranging from physical harm to land or structures to financial losses incurred by property owners. Some common scenarios include:

  • Road construction damage: Construction or maintenance activities that result in damage to nearby properties.
  • Water or environmental damage: Actions leading to water damage, flooding, or environmental harm to adjacent properties.
  • Negligent infrastructure maintenance: Failure to adequately maintain public infrastructure, causing damage to private properties.
  • Eminent domain disputes: When the government exercises eminent domain, acquiring private property for public use, disputes arise over just compensation or the necessity of the acquisition.

Understanding these scenarios is vital for property owners to recognize potential claims.

Challenges in Pursuing Claims for Property Damage

While the right to seek compensation exists, pursuing claims for property damage involving the government is not without challenges. Government entities and their agents can use immunity defenses to limit their liability. Determining fault can be a complicated process, requiring thorough investigation and evidence gathering. This is why it’s important to contact an experienced property damage lawyer as soon as possible who is familiar with the California processes and laws and can help you assess the facts and circumstances of your case.

Protect Your California Property with Peterson Law Group

If your California property has sustained real damage at the fault of a public entity, contact Peterson Law Group for knowledgeable and personalized legal counsel. Our Los Angeles and Irvine attorneys bring a commitment to prioritizing client needs and achieving innovative solutions.

Call us at (949) 955-0127 today. We’re here to help.

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