If you have been injured in an accident that involved some government entity, you may be asking, “Can you sue the government?” The answer is yes. It is important to keep in mind, however, that filing a personal injury claim against a government agency can be more complex than filing against a private organization or individual. Retaining the services of a knowledgeable Phoenix injury attorney can make all the difference in whether or not you receive the full compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained.
How Do I Sue the Government?
When you have been involved in an accident with a government entity, the first step is determining what government umbrella that agency falls under — federal, state, or municipal. The rules for each may vary; not following the exact required legal steps can result in your injury claim being reduced or dismissed entirely. Having an experienced Arizona injury lawyer handle your case can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.
Can You Sue the Government for Accidents Caused by Federal Agency?
The government has always been protected by the legal doctrine known as “sovereign immunity,” which prohibited a victim from suing the government unless the government consented. However, in 1946, the United States government passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This allows victims to sue government agencies under certain kinds of lawsuits if an at-fault government employee was acting within their job scope at the time of the incident that caused an injury. There can be a gray area in interpreting the law, as well as many limitations, but a seasoned Phoenix personal injury attorney may help determine whether or not you can file a claim.
Before you can file a lawsuit against the government agency, you first need to file a claim with them. This is called an administrative claim. This claim must be filed within two years of the incident. The agency then has six months to respond. If the agency agrees with your claim, they may pay you the damages you are seeking. If they disagree with your claim, or only offers a partial payment of your claim, you then have six months to file your lawsuit with the court.
Can You Sue the Government for Accidents Caused by State Agency?
Under Arizona law, you are also required to file a claim with the state agency before you can file a lawsuit. The state only gives you 180 days to file your claim. You must also make sure that your claim is served upon a person in the agency who is actually authorized to accept the notice of the claim. The agency has 60 days to respond. If the agency has not responded to that claim within 60 days, then the law says it is considered denied. Regardless of the action of the agency, the victim only has one year of filing the claim to file their lawsuit with the court. The state process can be very complicated and confusing. Victims should seriously consider allowing a personal injury attorney to handle the process for them.
Can You Sue the Government for Accidents Caused by County, City, or Town Agency?
The rules for suing municipalities in Arizona is similar to the state requirements of filing a claim within 180 days after the accident. However, each county, city, or town may also have their own rules which will need to be followed. A Phoenix personal injury attorney will know what those rules are.
How to Sue the Government
If you have been injured in an accident caused by employees or factors related to a government agency, contact one of the skilled Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Alex & Saavedra, P.C. Our attorneys have built a solid reputation for aggressively advocating for victims against government institutions and bureaucracy and getting our clients the financial compensation they are entitled to.
Call our office today at (602) 971-1775 for a free case evaluation and to determine the answer to the question, “Can you sue the government?” for your injuries.