My Legal Aspirations

For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.

Why Personal Injury Claims Against Governments Are Complicated


Submitting personal injury claims against the government is not a straightforward affair. This is true even for cases that tend to be routine when they don't involve the authorities. If you have a claim against the government, then you should expect it to be complex because:  

You Have to Contend with Short Statue of Limitations

The statue of limitations is likely to be short – shorter than it would be if the claim were against an individual or a nongovernmental entity. Rather than give their limits in terms of years, governments typically have limits in terms of days. It can be as short as 60 days, and even the more "generous" jurisdictions may not stretch their limits much. In some states, there may even be a limit to the number of claims you can submit against the government.

It May Be Barred by Sovereign Immunity

Alongside shorter statute of limitations, you also have to prepare for the possibility of Sovereign Immunity. This immunity covers injuries for which you are not allowed to submit personal injury claims. In essence, the government may hurt you and get away with it.

For example, depending on the jurisdiction, the immunity may cover:

  • Negligence related to safety inspections – meaning the movement is immune if its health inspectors' negligence leads to your injuries.
  • Injuries resulting from trees growing on state properties.
  • Injuries occasioned by animals (such as horses) belonging to the government.

In some cases, you are allowed to lodge a claim, but you don't get punitive damages. It may seem unfair, but the good news is that they are constantly being reviewed, and the number of injuries under Sovereign Immunity is lower than it used to be.

There Are Specific Procedures to Follow  

Lastly, you should also know that there may be specific steps to follow when submitting your claim. Some of these requirements may not make much sense to you, but you have to follow them all the same. For example, you may be required to send (via post) your initial claim to specific government employees. Failure to follow these steps may easily void your claim. Don't forget that you may not have another chance to submit a proper claim due to the short statute of limitations restrictions.

As you can see, it isn't good sense to go against the state (or even local authorities) on your own; it is very easy to lose. If you have a valid personal injury claim against the government, have it reviewed by an experienced law firm like Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel.


24 February 2015