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Filing injury claims against the government

Personal injury claims against the government are complicated matters because the government typically has sovereign immunity. This means that the government and its employees aren't typically held to a standard as high as a private property owner. It also means that you have to meet the requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act or similar local act if you plan to take action against the government.

Most states and municipalities have laws that are similar to the federal laws. The federal law states that if you plan to seek compensation from a government entity for an injury that occurred on government property or because of a reason that could be the fault of the government, you have to file a written notice that you intend to take legal action. If you don't file this notice within the appropriate time, your case will likely not be able to move forward.

It is important to note that when you file a claim against the government for something, you can only seek money damages for a specific amount. Understanding the limits and requirements is crucial if you plan to file one of these claims.

One thing that you should realize is that just because you file the notice that you are going to take action doesn't mean that you are going to be forced to take action. Instead, filing that notice helps to protect your right to take legal action once you have explored the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you decide not to pursue legal action, you won't have to do anything. If you decide you need compensation and didn't warn the government that you plan to sue, you won't be able to seek compensation.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability Claims Against the Government," accessed Sep. 19, 2016

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