If you get hurt on government property or by a government employee, you may be wondering if you can sue the government. Much of the time, injuries caused by the government are just like any other personal injury, but there are some things you should be aware of.
Can You Sue the Government?
The most basic question is whether you can sue the government at all. The answer in the personal injury context is generally yes. There's a thing called sovereign immunity that means you can't sue the government unless they let you. That's because the government makes the law and the law says who can sue who.
There are certain times the government won't allow a lawsuit such as a criminal injured in a police chase or a soldier who gets hurt fighting a war. Outside of special government functions, the government will usually allow a lawsuit. For example, in a car accident with a government vehicle, the government will allow itself to be sued just like any other driver would.
What About Government Employees?
You usually can't sue a government employee for a personal injury when they were doing their job. This could be the driver in a car accident, a construction worker that drops something on you, or a maintenance worker who doesn't mark a wet floor.
You can't sue these employees because you can sue the government for your injuries instead. That makes you get compensation for your injuries and protects government employees from getting sued personally for things that happen because of their jobs.
Does the Government Have Insurance?
The government often won't carry insurance for personal injuries. Instead, they pay claims directly from tax dollars. If you get hurt by the government, most agencies have a claims process that works similarly to insurance. If they agree with what caused your injury and the amount it cost you, they will pay your claim. If they disagree, you can negotiate or take them to court.
What's the Deadline to Sue the Government?
All personal injury claims have time limitations. However, the government may set different deadlines than the normal statute of limitations, and it may vary based on the type of claim. To avoid missing a deadline, contact an attorney as quickly as possible to get your case started right away.
To learn more about how to sue the government for a personal injury, contact a local personal injury attorney today.