Office of Risk Management

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Tort Liability

The Office of Risk Management receives, investigates and resolves claims filed against District of Columbia. Effective January 20, 2004, the Mayor has delegated to the Office of Risk Management the authority to accept notice of claim letters. As such, individuals can file tort liability claims against the District of Columbia for loss, damage, or injury.

According to § 12-309 of the DC Official Code (2001):  

An action may not be maintained against the District of Columbia for unliquidated damages to person or property unless, within six months after the injury or damage was sustained, the claimant, his agent, or attorney, has given notice in writing to the Mayor of the District of Columbia of the approximate time, place, cause and circumstances of the injury or damage.

If the statutory requirements of § 12-309 of the DC Official Code (2001) are not satisfied, the claim will be denied.

Under certain circumstances, reports of the Metropolitan Police Department may also satisfy the notice requirement provided that they contain all of the information required by the statute.

The mailing address for filing claims with the Office of Risk Management is as follows:
Office of Risk Management
Attn: Claims
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 800 South
Washington, DC 20001

How to File a Tort Liability Claim

Claim Forms

An incident occurs in the District to an individual:

  • Claims are accepted by hand delivery and US mail only. Claims are not accepted by email, fax, or phone. Claims submitted in the form of a letter must contain the following information:
    • Name, address, day and evening phone numbers
    • SSN or tax ID and DOB
    • Date and time of incident, exact location of incident and/or loss
    • The cause of the damage or injury or circumstances under which the damage or injury was sustained (explain, in detail, why the District of Columbia should be liable for the damage or injury).

Please include with your notice of claim, any and all relevant documents you may possess, for example:

  • Any police or other reports related to your claim
  • Documents showing ownership at the time of the damage and original cost of damaged items
  • Estimates for repairs (including two for vehicular damage)
  • Proof of payment for repairs to damaged property
  • Photographs of any damage
  • Medical bills and/or medical reports.

Upon receipt of a notice of claim, the Office of Risk Management Staff Assistant:

  • Enters data into claims management system
  • Creates a file, generates a claim number and assigns the claim to an adjuster
  • Within approximately 30 days after receipt of the claim, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the claimant providing the claim number and the identity of the claim adjuster assigned to the claim

The Office of Risk Management’s Claim Adjusters:

  • Contacts the claimant and the parties involved
  • Contacts the District agency involved for internal reports and investigative information
  • Gathers and inspects all relevant information regarding claim: photos, quotes, estimates, witness statements, etc.
  • Enters additional information/investigation details into claims management system
  • Makes the determination as to accept or reject claim


If the claim is accepted by the Office of Risk Management:

  • The claim is negotiated for settlement with the claimant or his or her representative.
  • A settlement packet (i.e. settlement agreement, release, etc.) is issued to the claimant or his or her representative for acceptance and completion.
  • Upon receipt of a properly executed settlement packet by the Office of Risk Management the forms are reviewed and forwarded to the responsible agency for payment consideration and check issuance.

  If the claim is denied by the Office of Risk Management:

  • The claimant will receive written notification through the mail that his or her claim has been denied.
  • The claimant may still proceed with his or her claim by filing a civil action in the DC Superior Court.


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