Personal injury law deals with injuries and deaths caused by negligence or wrongdoing. There are nearly countless ways that a party’s negligent behavior or wrongful actions can lead to an injury. Many personal injury claims involve car accidents and commercial truck accidents. Others involve injuries caused by defective products. Negligent design or maintenance of a property may also lead to injury claims.
The at-fault party in most personal injury claims is an individual or private company. However, there are also instances in which the government is ultimately at fault for an injury or death. In this situation, is it possible to sue the government for negligence?
Injury Claims Involving the Government
It is possible to sue the government and recover damages for an injury, but doing so is an especially challenging feat. Claims against the government are subject to special rules and procedures. An injured person can bring a claim against the state of Illinois if his or her injury was caused by a state employee or agency. For example, if a state-owned government property contained a dangerous condition and someone was hurt while visiting the property, that person may be able to sue the state for damages. Similarly, if someone was hurt in a car crash caused by a state employee who was on the clock, the state may be responsible for the damages caused in the crash.
Suing a local government is harder than suing the state government. Claims against local governments such as a municipality or school district must be based on “willful and wanton” misconduct. Illinois law explains that for the local government to be liable for an injury, the at-fault party’s actions must be intentionally harmful or extremely reckless.
Consider an example of a public school bus driver who causes an injurious accident. If the bus driver made an accidental mistake driving, the school district may avoid culpability. However, if the school bus driver intentionally caused the accident or was driving with extreme recklessness, the school may be liable.
Statute of Limitations for Claims Against Local or State Government
Claims against the government in Illinois are subject to different rules and time limits than claims against individuals or private entities. If you wish to file a claim against the state government, you must file the claim or a notice of the claim with the Attorney General and the Clerk of the Court of Claims within one year. Claims against the local government based on willful and wanton conduct must be filed within one year of the injury. The time limit is extended to two years for medical negligence claims.
Contact a Decatur Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one were hurt on government property or by a government employee, it may be possible to sue the government and collect financial compensation. Our skilled Springfield personal injury attorneys have represented injured parties for over 40 years and recovered more than $400 million for injury victims. Call Kanoski Bresney at 888-826-8682 for a free consultation.