Before you File a claim
If your claim involves damages related to your sewer or water line, please contact Long Beach Water Department to discuss Homeowner vs City responsibilities. For more info, please visit Long Beach Water Department.
If your claim involves Tree Maintenance/Request Removal, please visit Public Works-Street Trees for additional information on the City’s Tree Maintenance Policy.
Filing a Claim
Pursuant to the California Government Claims Act (Government Code sections 810-996.6), 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 its employees unless a written claim has been properly filed with the City.
The City of Long Beach has a standard Claim Form that can be used for your convenience. We ask that the claim form be completed thoroughly. Incomplete claims forms may result in delays in completing the investigation.
You may submit your completed Claims Form and attached documents by either mail or delivering directly to:
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 Section 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 Section 911.2(a)).
WARNING: THIS IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVISE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY TO DETERMINE THE TIME PERIOD FOR FILING EITHER A CLAIM OR A LAWSUIT.
Supporting DocumentationAlong with completing the Claim Form please attach supporting documentation. We recommend that you retain copies for your records. Documentation may include, but is not limited to:
Property Damage Claims• repair estimates, invoices, proof of payments, photos of damage
Personal Injury Claims• medical records, itemized billing, proof of payments
Please disclose whether this loss has been claimed with another entity such as an insurance carrier. If so, please include name of company, handling claims representative and claim number on your claims form.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, they may decide to file a claim against the City to recover monies paid. You may file a claim against the City for reimbursement of the applicable deductible and/or your out of pocket expenses.
Our Claims Process
Once your claim is delivered to the City Clerk’s Office, the claim will be transferred to the Office of The City Attorney for handling. The claim will be assigned to a Liability Claims Adjuster to conduct an investigation of liability. You will be contacted by a Liability Claims Adjuster to acknowledge receipt of your claim. The Adjuster will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the claims process.
Every claim is investigated to determine:
- How the loss/incident occurred
- If the City and/or its employees are liable
- The extent of damages, if any
- Whether your claim is recognized under the law, and if so, what the law considers fair compensation
Our claims process includes, but is not limited to, taking statements from any parties involved, interviewing witnesses and/or employees, gathering and reviewing all related reports and documents.
We may contact you during our claims process to obtain additional information to ensure a thorough claims investigation.
Every claim will be investigated and a decision will be made with regard to what action should be taken. However, your attention is directed to Government Code Section 912.4 which provides, in part, that a claim is deemed rejected if no action is taken within 45 days after filing.
A written notice of denial or acceptance will be mailed to you upon finalizing the claim.
Please note: Claims accepted for damages to a vehicle will be settled with legal owner, representing attorney or insurance carrier (provided proof of right to recovery).
Denied ClaimsEach claim is reviewed thoroughly. If your claim is denied, we will explain the reasons for the denial. Should you disagree with the claims denial, you have the right to file a civil action, including a small claims action. However, subject to certain exceptions, you have only six (6) months from the date that the notice of denial was personally delivered or deposited in the mail to file a court action on your claim. See Government Code § 945.6.
AGAIN, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH A LAWYER IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AS TO WHEN YOU MUST FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER YOUR CLAIM IS DENIED. IF YOU PLAN TO FILE A LAWSUIT, YOU SHOULD NOT DELAY SEEKING ADVISE.
This time limitation applies only to causes of action for which Government Code §§ 900 - 915.4 required you to present a claim. Other Causes of action, including those arising under federal law, may have different time limitations.