How To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Gov English

How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Government in Florida?

Suing the State of Florida is not the same as making a claim against a person or a private corporation. Traditionally, governments have prevented people from suing them, under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a concept that developed hundreds of years ago in England. Essentially, sovereign immunity kept people from making claims against the king, his representatives, or the government. While this concept transferred over to the U.S., many states in America allow people to sue them for damages under certain circumstances.

When can I sue the government in Florida for an injury?

Claims filed against the state of Florida (including its agencies and subdivisions) are governed by Florida Statute § 768.28, which states that the government in Florida expressly waives immunity from liability for certain torts. In Florida, a person who is injured by the government or a government employee may file an injury claim if the injury was caused by the negligence or wrongful act or omission of the government, the loss can be compensated with money damages, and the circumstances are such that the negligent party would have been liable as a private party. However, the statute lists certain limitations on an injured parties’ ability to sue.

Here’s a brief overview of the limitations:

  • You cannot sue the government in Florida for punitive damages.
  • The government is not liable for interest for the period before judgment.
  • The government does not have to pay a claim that exceeds $200,000 for one person or a total of $300,000 for all claims that arise out of one incidence or occurrence.

Where do I File a Claim Against the Government?

The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Risk Management handles the initial claims against the government. To file a claim against the government in Florida, you must give notice to the state agency involved in the claim and to the Department of Financial Services. This notice must be in writing and must be filed within three years of the occurrence. You must obtain service of process on both the agency and the Department of Financial Services.

The government has 180 days to initiate an investigation. When the Department of Financial Services, Division of Risk Management receives a claim, an administrator will review it. The administrator opens the matter as an active claim and assigns it to a claim’s adjuster. The claims adjuster will either deny your claim, settle it, or decide the state will not settle. If the claims adjuster determines the state is liable, the adjuster will decide upon an amount of damages and make a settlement offer.

Filing a claim against the government is complicated and difficult. If you have a claim against the government in Florida, we can help. Call the Law Offices of Suarez & Montero today at 786 Lawyers!