You may have a personal injury claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the signal light. It is important that you submit your notice of claim within the time limit prescribed by state law. The notice of claim provision is meant to enable the government (agency or employee) to know that you intend to make a claim and to allow the government (agency or employee) to respond to your claim. The government will either accept or deny your claim. If you do not hear from the government within reasonable time, you should assume that your claim has been denied and proceed with further steps or your claim will be barred by the statute of limitation. If the government (agency or employee) denies your claim, you can file a lawsuit against the government (agency or employee) seeking compensation. The court will not entertain your lawsuit if you have not given the notice as required by law. Each government agency and department may have specific requirements to be satisfied when making a claim against it.
[5:1] Suits Against Government Entities—Formal Claim Prerequisite Under Government Claims Act: Generally, no suit for money or damages may be brought against a government entity (or against a government employee acting in the scope of employment) unless and until a timely claim has been presented pursuant to the Government Claims Act (Gov.C. § 810 et seq.) and either acted upon or deemed rejected by the passage of time. [Gov.C. §§ 945.4, 950.2, 912.4; see City of Stockton v. Super.Ct. (Civic Partners Stockton, LLC) (2007) 42 C4th 730, 741–742, 68 CR3d 295, 304–305 & fns. 6, 7; and Stanley v. City & County of San Francisco (1975) 48 CA3d 575, 581–582, 121 CR 842, 846–847 (rejecting constitutional “equal protection” and “due process” challenges to claim filing requirement)]
[1:7.6] Government Claims Act claim filing period: If there is potential government entity or government employee liability, the California Government Claims Act requires a formal claim to be filed with the entity within six months of accrual of the cause of action (Gov.C. § 911.2). This rule operates independently of the statute of limitations to bar suit against the entity if the claim is not timely filed (¶ 5:1 ff.).
Government entity claim filing period: Likewise, if a government entity could be a potential defendant, advise claimant of the six-month claim filing deadline under the California Government Claims Act (Gov.C. § 911.2). It may be necessary to accept representation simply for the purpose of filing such claim, with the understanding that you are not yet agreeing to employment for purposes of prosecuting an eventual lawsuit. (See detailed discussion of Government Claims Act claim filing requirements at ¶ 5:1 ff.)