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Did you slip and fall on a poorly maintained sidewalk outside a government building, such as a post office? Were you injured in an auto accident involving a city bus or other government vehicle? If so, you deserve compensation just like any other injury victim. The government is not immune to injury lawsuits from citizens and can be held liable for damages caused by its employees. You may be entitled to file an injury claim against the city, state or federal government, but the process is often more complex and different from other types of injury claims.
When I Can Sue the Government for an Injury?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) permits the government to provide compensation for property loss, injury and wrongful death caused by the negligent actions of government employee acting on behalf of the government. This can allow you to file a claim against the government for a wide array of injuries caused by its employees as well as injuries sustained while on public or government property.
There are exceptions to the rule which prohibit people from suing the government under certain circumstances. For example, the federal government is only liable for torts committed by an employee acting within the course and scope of his federal employment. The federal government is not liable for acts committed solely by its independent contractors. You should talk to a personal injury lawyer to ensure that the FTCA covers your claim and that your claim is not barred by statutory defenses.
How Do I File an Injury Lawsuit Against the Government?
Before a lawsuit can be commenced against the United States under the FTCA, an administrative claim must first be properly submitted to the appropriate federal agency responsible for your injury. You must file this claim within two years of the date of injury and must include the exact details of your claim, including the facts that make you believe your claim is justified in addition to the amount of compensation you believe is fair. An attorney familiar with federal tort claims can assist you in making sure that your claim is properly worded and submitting correctly to the appropriate agency.
The agency will then have six months to respond. In some cases, the federal agency will agree that your claim is valid and will offer to provide some or all of the compensation you are seeking. However, if the agency rejects the administrative claim or does not offer sufficient compensation, a lawsuit must be commenced within six months.
What About Claims Against State or Local Governments?
The South Carolina Tort Claims Act (SCTA) permits claims for personal injury to be filed against the State of South Carolina as well as counties and municipalities. Much like the FTCA, the SCTA has specific provisions that must be followed in order to properly and timely pursue a claim. Our injury lawyers can assist you in determining whether you may have a valid tort claim against the state or local government.
I Need to Talk to a Lawyer About an Injury Lawsuit Against the Government
At Proffitt & Cox, LLP, our Columbia injury attorneys will take the time to get to know you, your situation and understand your legal needs. We will do everything we can to get your case resolved in a way that will benefit you and your family the most. Although injury lawsuits against a government entity can be complex, our South Carolina injury lawyers will make the process as easy as possible for you. Call our Columbia law office today for a free consultation.