It is possible to file a personal injury claim against a government entity if you can prove that it played a key role in causing your injury. However, laws regarding suits against the government are often stricter than those regarding suits against other types of entities.
Un Abogada de lesiones personales can explain more about how you can recover compensation after negligence by the government. Whether you were injured by the city, county, state, or a federal agency, you deserve the chance to recover the money you need.
When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim Against the Government?
You have the right to file a claim if you can prove through evidence (such as medical records, a statement from your doctor or employer, and medical bills and receipts) that you suffered unnecessary injuries. Your attorney can collect the proof you need.
What Is the Federal Tort Claims Act?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individual citizens to file a valid claim with the United States government if:
- You suffered an injury or property damage or lost a loved one.
- You were injured as a direct result of a federal government employee’s carelessness.
- The negligent employee was performing their normal job duties at the time.
Según el U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Tort Claims Act gives you two years from the date of your injury to send in your claim.
Municipal Liability and Your Case
Say that your injuries were caused not by the federal government but by a local government agency that, for instance, knew about a hazard in a public space but failed to adequately address it.
In cases involving state, county, or city governments, you must look to the laws in your own state for guidance. A personal injury attorney in your area will know about these laws and can help you.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim Against the Government
When considering a claim, pay attention to the relevant statute of limitations. This is the deadline before which you must begin your case. As previously mentioned, the deadline for claims filed under the FTCA is two years.
At the state or local level, the statute may be different (usually shorter) for cases filed against the government than it is for other kinds of cases. According to the California Courts, you could have just six months to file your claim. In some cases, you may have two years to file under PCCh § 335.1, but you shouldn’t count on having this much time. To fully understand your options, you benefit from consulting a lawyer.
When Is it Impossible to File a Government Injury Claim?
Your claim will not get very far if you do not follow the proper procedures. Your right to file a claim and collect monetary compensation from the government may end if:
- You wait too long, and the statute of limitations expires.
- You use the wrong forms to submit your claim.
- You cannot find sufficient evidence to prove your claim, or you fail to provide the government with sufficient evidence in a timely manner.
When Can You Sue the Government for a Personal Injury?
Filing a claim and filing a lawsuit are two different things. While you have the right to file a claim so long as you have the evidence to back it up, the right to file a lawsuit can be much more complex.
Sovereign Immunity and Federal Government Liability
Sovereign immunity means that certain government entities cannot be held liable in court, no matter what they have or have not done. In the United States, sovereign immunity can be applied to both federal and state governments, but there are exceptions.
Under the U.S. Constitution, no one can sue the federal government without the government’s own consent, as expressed through an act of Congress. The FTCA is one such act, which permits people to file a lawsuit if their initial claim is denied or ignored.
Sovereign Immunity and State Government Liability
Most, if not all, states have similar laws to the one discussed above. For example, Chapter One of the California Tort Claims Act limits the liability of public entities, like the state government, while leaving intact the liability of public employees, like individuals working for the state government.
Again, a lawyer in your area will be acquainted with such laws and can help you navigate them as you seek just compensation.
Can a Lawyer Help With Your Case Against a Government Entity?
While it is possible to file a personal injury claim against a government entity under certain conditions, the process will not be easy. The government retains lawyers who have experience with protecting it against such legal actions. The mere phrase “suing the government” may make you feel anxious or hopeless—but it does not have to be that way.
One of the best ways you can protect yourself as you pursue your case is by hiring an attorney of your own. A personal injury lawyer can file your claim or lawsuit against a government agency.
What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
Whether you plan on filing a claim or are already considering a public entity lawsuit, it is a good idea to seek the advice and assistance of a law firm. Its lawyers can handle all legal tasks, so you do not have to worry about them. Such tasks include:
- Establishing government tort liability by building up your casefile with convincing evidence
- Determining how much your case is worth
- Sending in all of the paperwork to file your claim or lawsuit
- Negotiating with the government for a fair settlement
- Representing your case in the courtroom (depending on how your case goes)
- Explaining what to expect at your personal injury trial, if that becomes necessary
If You Want to Sue a Government Entity, Call Our Firm
En KJT Grupo de Derecho, our entire law firm is dedicated to helping every client who wants to file a personal injury claim against a government entity, a business, a reckless individual, or anyone else who contributed to their suffering. Call (818) 507-8525 to get a free legal consultation and find out what is possible with your case.