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3 FAQs About Personal Injury Claims Against Government Entities

August 18, 2019

by Donaldson & Weston

If you were injured due to the negligence of a government entity or one of its employees, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. But filing a tort claim against a city, county, state, or federal government agency is not the same as bringing a claim against a private citizen. There are certain procedural nuances to consider, and one small mistake could be all it takes to jeopardize your entire case.

To protect your legal rights and financial future, it’s wise to discuss your case with an attorney who has experience in claims filed against government entities. At Donaldson & Weston, we have helped hundreds of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, many of which were against government agencies. Call 772-266-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in Florida.

Read on to learn the answers to a few FAQs about personal injury claims against government entities:

Who May File a Tort Claim Against a Government Entity?

Anyone who sustained an injury or lost a family member due to the negligence of a government employee may have grounds for a tort claim. Under some circumstances, though, sovereign immunity precludes individuals from filing a civil lawsuit against the state and its agencies. That said, if you were injured by a negligent government employee who was working within the scope of his or her employment, sovereign immunity may not apply.

How Long Do I Have to Sue a Government Entity?

It’s essential to act fast if you want to sue a government agency because the statute of limitations for doing so is shorter than it is for suing a private citizen. There are also additional steps that must be completed, but the specific procedures vary by jurisdiction.

If you want to sue a state entity, for example, you must provide written notice to the relevant governing body first. The agency will then have 180 days to conduct an investigation.

If your claim is denied, you have three years from the date on which the cause of action accrued to file a lawsuit. If you want to file a wrongful death suit, you have just two years from the date of death.

What Kinds of Damages Might Be Recoverable in a Tort Claim Against a Government Entity?

When suing a government entity for personal injury, you may be able to seek compensation for:

  • Property damage;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Home and vehicle modifications;
  • Home care;
  • Child care and/or domestic help;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Loss of enjoyment in life.