Special Rules For Claims Against The Government

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Personal injury is the legal definition for an injury to the body, as opposed to an injury to property. Personal injury can also include emotional and mental injury. A personal injury lawsuit will typically allege that the plaintiff's injury has been caused as a result of another person's negligence.

If you have suffered an injury and the responsible party is a government entity, the rules change significantly. Any claims made against a local, state or federal government entity must be reported much more quickly that a personal injury claim against a private party. You must follow the rules carefully and stay within all the applicable guidelines or you could find your suit dismissed before it has even begun.

You have 60 days after you suffer an injury to report the claim if one of the responsible parties is a government entity. Most government parties at all levels have a certain type of immunity, which requires a victim to get permission before they can even start legal proceedings against them. The window of opportunity here is called the Tort Claims Act and it gives you a little room to hold a government agency responsible if you follow the guidelines faithfully.

As soon as you are injured, you must notify the government agency you feel is responsible, so they have the chance to accept your claim or deny it. If they deny it, you then have the chance to sue. The most important thing is to submit your claim to the appropriate agency within the 60-day limit, or your chance to recoup your losses will be over. There are situations in which it may be difficult to determine which agency may be responsible for your injury. In these cases it is best to file a claim with all the agencies you deem may be responsible. Another option is to retain the services of a qualified and competent personal injury attorney.

This area of law is so murky and strict that is virtually impossible to go it alone. You need the services of a personal injury attorney, particularly one who is familiar with government regulations, and who has handled other cases that may be similar to yours, or may involve the same governmental agencies. Do not wait to hire an attorney if you are dealing with the government, as you need to move quickly. Personal injury attorneys are generally experienced with legal actions against private parties and government agencies. Finding the right one for your situation will involve some research, and you should look for attorneys that are members of the American Bar Association.

Fighting the government is difficult but not impossible. If you were injured due to the careless action, or possibly inaction, of a government entity, you have the right to sue, but you have to follow the special rules for claims against the government. An attorney will know just what to do so you can take the time to recover from your injury.


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