You may have heard about so-called government immunity to liability lawsuits. Does this mean you can’t file a personal injury claim against a government entity or employee?

Not necessarily.

You may be able to file a lawsuit, but there are strict guidelines to follow. These vary by municipality, so it can be important to work with a local personal injury attorney; one who has experience with the laws in your state, county and city.

“Notice of Claim”

Most governments have enacted laws that contain rules for filing an injury claim against them, and through these laws have conditionally waived immunity to legal liability for an accident or injury. It’s important to note that if you do not follow the rules in these laws, you will lose the right to receive any compensation for your injuries caused by the government agency or employee. The most important point of these laws is the requirement that you give “notice of claim” shortly after the injury, in some cases as few as 60 days.

The purpose of filing a notice of claim is to make the government aware of your injury, and to give the agency or entity a chance to respond before you may file a lawsuit against the government. If your claim is denied, you are then free to file a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to collect damages from the government agency. If you fail to file a notice of claim, you will not be able to sue the government.

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