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Can You Sue the Government for a Personal Injury?

Nevada Personal Injury Attorney

State and local government entities in Nevada own nearly 10,000 properties. The United States Government owns an additional five buildings. Odds are, you were in one or more of these facilities as a private citizen conducting business with your government. You may not have considered what could happen if you are injured on a property owned by the federal, state, or local government.

How Can a Regular Citizen Sue the Federal Government?

It’s a cliché to say that you can’t fight city hall. While this may be true to some extent, if you suffer an injury on a government-owned property including buildings and facilities, you may sue for compensation for your injuries.

But suing the government is difficult, and it is particularly to your advantage to hire an attorney if you plan to sue the federal government. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about suing the federal government:

Federal government agencies may be sued when:

  • You suffer an injury in a government building
  • When you suffer an injury caused by improper signage, insufficient warning of hazards, etc.
  • When you are exposed to a toxic substance in a government-owned facility

Government agencies may be immune from certain kinds of personal injury lawsuits.

  • The Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) protects most federal employees from liability, but this does not prohibit filing a claim
  • The government may completely avoid liability if the damage could have been avoided had a victim acted responsibly
  • In many cases, a federal government agency would not be responsible—only the employee can be sued in such cases

How to Sue the Government and Win

Although it can be difficult, with an experienced lawyer, you can successfully sue the federal government following an incident that led to your injuries on government property. Lawyers are particularly valuable in these cases for advice on how to meet the typically stringent requirements for suing the government, such as the tighter deadlines to initiate a lawsuit.

If you suffer an injury in a city or state-owned building, you should learn what steps you have to take to get compensation for your injuries as soon as possible. In fact, the deadlines to file suit are so short, it is often best to contact a personal injury attorney who has experience handling premise liability cases, and who will be aware of the stringent requirements necessary to sue the city or state.

Premises liability cases can be complicated and working with an attorney who has experience handling these cases is a must. Whether you fell down a flight of stairs because of a broken handrail, fell on a slippery floor, or suffered an injury in an attack that occurred in a parking lot due to insufficient security, you may have the right to file a claim against the city or town.

In Nevada, if a government employee is responsible for an injury you suffered in a car accident, one of the first steps you might take is to fill out the proper forms. The proper form for beginning the process of recovering compensation for your injuries is called a Claim Against The State of Nevada. However, the form makes clear that you may simultaneously file a lawsuit, and filing a form claim doesn’t stop the clock for your deadline to sue.

Types of Premises Liability Accidents

Imagine walking into city hall to pay a tax bill, and as you cross the lobby, you catch your foot on a frayed piece of tile or carpet and you fall suffering a serious back injury. One of the first things you might wonder is from whom you can seek compensation. You may file a claim against a city government’s insurance provider. If an insurance policy’s limits won’t cover all of your injuries, you may sue for any uncovered costs.

Some types of accidents which may occur on town property or city property include:

  • Slip and fall accidents – Wet floors, frayed carpeting, torn tiles, and highly-waxed flooring can result in a serious slip and fall accident.
  • Attacks upon your person – You could suffer a gunshot wound, knife wound, or other wounds if a criminal attacks you in a parking lot or parking garage at a municipal building. These injuries may have been preventable had the government facility had proper lighting or security.
  • Injury caused by falling objects – Improperly anchored items can fall from bookcases, off shelves, or other propped up places in government buildings.

Suing the Government Is Difficult, but Not Impossible, Especially With the Help of an Experienced Attorney

Nevada Personal Injury Attorney
Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Personal Injury Attorneys

Suing a city is oftentimes a difficult proposition. When you decide to sue any level of government, you need to be prepared for pushback and you need to be prepared for long delays. When you pursue a lawsuit against a city, you typically must provide the city notice, and they typically have several weeks, even months, to respond to your complaint. Until you have received a response, you cannot always file a lawsuit against a city or state.

But just because it is hard to sue cities, states, or the federal government it does not mean you should avoid doing so. When you suffer an injury or loss because of a reckless or negligent act, you should not ignore it just because the party who is responsible is either a government agency or a government employee.

Your best bet to navigate the challenges of suing the government is to hire an experienced attorney. While doing so might just seem like another expense on top of all the others you have after an accident, you do not have to worry about making large payments out of pocket for legal bills. Working with a personal injury lawyerwho works on a contingency basis means unless and until there is a successful settlement of your case, you need not worry about paying legal fees.

Benson and Bingham