The term “You can’t fight city hall” implied that citizens were not allowed to sue a municipality, parish or government agency because they had sovereign immunity. If there were egregious errors on their part, they would occasionally consent to be sued so suitable reparations could be made. However, this is no longer the case.
Now municipalities and agencies can be held accountable in a court of law if the potential lawsuit involving personal injury, premises liability, or other circumstances. This is at the federal level as well as here in Louisiana – the Louisiana Government Claims Act outlines the rules, exceptions and requirements necessary.
Causing accident, injury or death
There are many reasons why they could be held liable. The most common include:
- Slip and fall: A typical example of premises liability, the victim would have to be injured in a government building, facility or property they are responsible for. As with private property, the reason would likely involve not providing a safe environment for the victim to visit or work. It could also include negligent behavior by an employee.
- Auto accidents: Thousands of government employees operate motor vehicles while on the job, and they are just as likely as anyone else to make a mistake when driving.
- Law enforcement: There have been many high-profile cases of law enforcement injuring or killing their victims.
What can be done
Municipalities or jurisdictions often require victims to file a claim within 60-180 days of the injury; moreover, there may be a cap on monetary damages. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has experience with these types of cases can provide useful guidance to get the best possible results. This, in turn, can help with the cost of medical care and resulting services, time away from work, and other expenses.