Personal injuries are caused by varying instances, and sometimes a government entity can be responsible for a person’s injury. Suing the government for a personal injury can quickly become a cumbersome and fruitless process if stringent guidelines are not followed. Government officials can pronounce immunity to certain personal injury claims, making the entire process unsettling for injured victims.
Since the government is involved with and responsible for a wide variety of day to day activities, there are many legitimate reasons why an individual would choose to file a lawsuit against them. Brutal police force has become increasingly common in the current news. A simple stop for speeding, crimes, and misdemeanors can quickly turn into an aggressive situation if an officer misjudges sudden movements, leading to injury. There have been other reports of peaceful protests gone awry and innocent bystanders put in harm’s way by acting officials. A collapsed bridge or poor road conditions can cause a car accident. Even a slip and fall at a government facility can cause a debilitating personal injury. It is important to know how to proceed when one of these situations arise.
Steps to Take When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
First, the specific government entity responsible for the injury must be identified and named as the defendant. It is important to include all corresponding parties and whether the injury relates to municipal, state, or federal government bodies. For personal injury purposes, if the injury occurs while any of these officials are performing their job tasks, they can be named party to the lawsuit. For example, if an officer uses unnecessary force during an arrest, the government may be held liable. On the other hand, if a car accident occurs with an off-duty police officer, it is less likely that the government will accept responsibility and a regular personal injury lawsuit can be filed.
To proceed with a government lawsuit, a notice of claim must be filed to explain the reasoning behind the lawsuit, facts on how the injury was obtained, and the legal recourse intended. Claim laws vary by state, but this report must be thorough and submitted within a timely manner and contingent upon each state’s guidelines. If the claim is not submitted within the applicable time-period, it can bar the possibility of any future lawsuits against the government. The claim letter must be sent to all defendants and involved government entities to allow them time to investigate the claims. Occasionally, they will offer to settle outside of court. More commonly, the claim will get denied, in which case a lawsuit can be issued once the claim expires.
Another challenge when dealing with government lawsuits is sovereign immunity, in which the government can deny liability for personal injury claims with no contest. Stipulations have been put in place to limit this full immunity from happening. Many states have introduced cap laws to limit the amount of money that can be awarded to an individual and disallow recovery of punitive damages as well.
Chester County Personal Injury Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Those Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits
At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, our team of personal injury lawyers in Chester County are committed to getting reparation for our clients. If you are suffering from a personal injury due to another person’s negligence, call for a consultation today at 215-569-8488 or submit an online inquiry. We offer convenient office locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.