Contrary to the popular belief, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries, damages, and losses if you have been injured on public or government property. Although filing a successful personal injury claim against a government entity will require you to get help from a Philadelphia public and government property accident attorney, recovering damages from a federal, state or local government is not impossible.
Although there used to be an archaic rule called “sovereign immunity” that barred citizens from seeking compensation for injuries caused by a federal, state or local government entity, citizens obtained their right to recover damages in 1948, when Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
After the federal law took effect, states, including Pennsylvania, began to pass their own versions of the law to grant citizens the right to file personal injury claims and lawsuits against public and government entities.
“Yes, you actually deserve compensation for your injury sustained on public or government property, but there are certain special limitations and restrictions for personal injury lawsuits against the government that you need know about prior to taking legal action,” warns our experienced public and government property accident attorney Philadelphia from The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C.
So what does it really take to sue a public or government entity in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania? That’s what you are about to find out on this page.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a public or government entity
In a nutshell, you can and should be compensated for your damages and losses if your injury on public or government property was caused by the government entity’s failure to ensure your safety and maintain the property in a safe condition free of any hazards, regardless of whether you were injured in a slip and fall accident, car accident caused by improperly maintained roads or traffic signals, accident on public transportation, or any other type of accident.
As you may or may not know, if a public or government entity fails to maintain a property it owns and controls in a safe condition free of hazardous conditions, or fails to remedy a dangerous condition it knew about or should have known about in a timely manner, the entity is considered negligent.
If this negligence caused an injury or death, the public or government entity can be held liable and will be responsible for compensating for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills;
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury;
- Loss of income;
- Loss of earning capacity; and
- Pain and suffering.
You may be able to seek compensation for other types of damages, but this depends on the circumstances of your particular case.
Limits and caps for personal injury claims against government agencies
We have mentioned earlier that the law imposes certain special limits when it comes to recovering damages from a public or government entity. While there are no limitations and caps as to how much money you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit against a private entity, the same cannot be said about lawsuits against public and government entities.
In most cases, victims of public or government property accidents are unable to seek reimbursement for emotional distress and pain and suffering, though they are entitled to compensation for their economic losses and damages.
In addition to this, government statutes prohibit the recover of punitive damages when the victim’s injury is a result of a public or government entity’s gross negligence or reckless disregard.
Statute of limitations for personal injury claims against public entities
Our Philadelphia public government property accident attorney also warns that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases against public and government entities is different from the statute of limitations for injury claims against private entities. In the case of the latter, you must file a personal injury claim within two years from the date of the injury.
If you are suing a public or government entity, on the other hand, you must file a notice of intent to sue within 6 months. In fact, you will have to use the government agency’s specific injury notice form when filing the notice. It’s very important that you fill out the notice properly without any errors, because you might not have enough time to re-submit the notice and then wait for the response (you may run out of time).
That’s why it is so important to be represented by a skilled premises liability accident lawyer in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania. The process of suing a public entity is very different from that of suing a private entity, which is why you need to get legal help ASAP. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers from The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., to discuss your case. Call our offices at 215-543-7220 today.