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“We are imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government. ”

— William H. Taft

How to file a claim against the City of San Diego?

Paperwork, that’s how. No more, no less.

You complete this form, Claim Against the City of San Diego, within 6 months after the accident occurred. Then mail it to the City of San Diego, Risk Mgmt Dept. That’s the how. This is the why.

The City of San Diego has limited sovereign immunity. What that means is that claims (which can turn into lawsuits) can only be brought against the City of San Diego in certain circumstances by following particular procedures.  Suing the City is not like suing a private person or company. Strict rules must be followed and deadlines kept. These are set out in the California Claims Act.

The California Claims Act

Claims against public entities like the City are governed by the California Claims Act, or CCA (CA Govt Code sections 810 et seq). The CCA sets out the applicable rules and deadlines to follow. Basically, you must submit a claim for personal injury or personal property damage to the public entity within 6 months after the accident. The public entity then has 45 days to respond to your claim. Their response will either be 1) rejection; 2) acceptance; or 3) rejection and acceptance.

You can guess what the normal response is. Once the claim is rejected, you have 6 months from the date the rejection was mailed to file a lawsuit against the City.

If you fail to follow these rules and keep these deadlines, rest assured the City of San Diego will deny your claim or lawsuit. Don’t give them that chance.

Questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

Evan Walker

Evan W. Walker is a La Jolla attorney who has practiced law since 2008. He has practiced law throughout California, Connecticut, and Louisiana.

Evan worked for and defended insurance companies during the first 7 years of his practice. Since 2015, he has represented people with personal injury and property damage claims and insurance disputes.

Evan’s practice is devoted to serious personal injury claims and catastrophic property damage claims. Areas of focus include security claims against bars and other businesses, government tort claims, fire and flood claims, and inverse condemnation. On behalf of clients, Evan has fought insurance firms, international companies, cities, bars, and casinos.

Evan regularly shares his expertise with other attorneys by teaching courses on insurance and inverse condemnation. He has taught several continuing legal education courses to Attorney Credits, a nationwide CLE company, and ProLawCLE, another nationwide CLE company. He also contributes to various podcasts and publications.


  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, San Diego Bar Association
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Member, La Jolla Bar Association
  • Member, La Jolla Village Merchants Association
  • Member, San Diego Chamber of Commerce