Many people believe you can’t sue the government. While it’s true that government entities have what’s called “sovereign immunity” from liability lawsuits, most governments have enacted laws waiving this immunity—provided a strict set of conditions are met.
If you’re injured on government property, you may be able to file a claim for damages. There are strict guidelines you’ll need to meet throughout the process. Working with an experienced, local attorney, one who knows the laws in your city, county and state, is the best way to ensure you’ll know exactly what to do.
Filing Suit Against the Government
The Federal government, as well as most state and local governments, have enacted laws containing specific rules for filing a personal injury claim against them. It’s important to note that if you don’t follow these laws to the letter, you will probably lose your right to receive compensation for injuries caused by the government agency or employee.
“Notice of Claim”
In order to bring a liability suit against a government entity, you have to file a notice of your intent to file a claim within a short time period after the negligent act that caused your injury, in most cases within 60 days. The purpose of a notice of claim is to make the agency aware of your injury and give them a chance to respond to your claim before you may file a lawsuit against the government.
In rare instances, the government agency may accept your claim and offer a settlement. However, if the government denies your claim, you are then free to file a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to collect damages.
Because you will not be able to sue the government if you fail to file this notice of claim, it’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. In this way, you’ll be certain you’re covering all the specifics of the laws in your area.