Suing Government Authorities for Injury–Special Rules

The government or a government agency can be liable for negligence that results in injuries, the same way as businesses or people. The difference between the two scenarios is in the litigation process–steps, and deadlines for bringing an injury claim against the government. Consequently, it’s important to consult an Alaska accident attorney when filing such claims.

Violating the laid-down guidelines and procedures can sink a promising injury claim–meaning you must play by the rules. Accident claims involving the government or a government agency can be complex and you might need the help of an Alaska accident attorney. But what’s involved in injury claims involving the government or a government agency sued?

Shorter Time Limits

Most people are conversant with the statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving businesses or people, but not the government. The statute of limitations refers to the period within which a personal injury claim must be filed or initiated, which could be between one to six years–depending on the case.

The time limits for filing an injury claim against a local government or state agency are tighter. In some states, you must file an injury claim against the government within 30 days of an injury while the statutes of limitations in other states are 60, 90, or 120 days. However, some states do not have time limitations for injury claims against the government you only need to know the statute of limitation for the specific injury.

Notice of Claim

Injury claims against the government are not filed like other personal injury claims–a “Notice of Claim” must be issued to the government in most states. Failing to provide a notice of claim can be cited as a legal defense to defeat or invalidate a claim against the government or state agency. An accident attorney can offer legal counsel on the applicable laws for issuing the notice in your state.

Format of a Notice of Claim

A Notice of Claim form must be mailed and should address every person or entity involved in your injuries–according to the laws of the majority of states. The notice should also be mailed to the agency that handles Notice of Claims–the Departments of Financial Services in individual states handles the notices of claim form in those states. The features of a notice of claim include:

  • Name of the plaintiff;
  • Contact details of the plaintiff;
  • Date and time of the incident;
  • Details of the medical facility that treated the plaintiff–including name and contact details;
  • Location of the accident.

A plaintiff must wait for specified days before filing a claim after issuing the notice of a claim; usually 30 to 120 days. The waiting period allows the government to prepare itself for the impending case. However, the case will be dismissed by the court after the expiry of the waiting period.

Although you can bring an injury claim against the government or a state agency, you must understand that the government has sovereign immunity and hence, cannot be sued for various injury claims.

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