personal injury lawsuit

Sovereign Immunity and Your California Personal Injury Case: What You Need to Know

When you are injured because of another person or party’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover damages. However, there are some situations in which the defendant is immune from lawsuits – this is known as sovereign immunity. Our California personal injury attorneys are here to explain sovereign immunity and how it may affect your case.

What is Sovereign Immunity?

Sovereign immunity is a legal principle that holds a government or its agencies immune from civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution. Sovereign immunity protects the government from being sued in its own courts, and also from being held liable for damages in other courts. The principle of sovereign immunity is based on the idea that the public interest is better served when the government can act without fear of litigation. 

Critics argue that sovereign immunity actually does more harm than good, by preventing victims of abuse or negligence from seeking justice. Supporters say that sovereign immunity helps ensure good governance, by protecting officials from frivolous lawsuits. 

Whatever your opinion on sovereign immunity, it’s an important legal doctrine to understand, particularly if you’ve been injured and the government may be responsible.

Can I Sue the Government if I am Injured?

If you are injured in California, there may be grounds to sue the government. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may be able to file a claim against a federal, state, or local government agency. However, suing the government can be complicated and tricky. It is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a case.

Government entities can be held liable for personal injuries that occur as a result of their negligence. This is known as Government Tort Liability. If you are injured in California, you may be able to sue the government entity responsible for your injury if your claim falls under the California Tort Claims Act.

What You Need to Know About the California Tort Claims Act

If you are injured in an accident in California, you likely have a lot of questions. This law outlines the procedures and requirements for filing a lawsuit against a public entity. One question that many people have is whether they can file a claim against the person or company responsible for their injuries. 

The answer to this question depends on the type of claim and the circumstances of the accident. The CTCA generally allows a private citizen to sue an agency or branch of the California government in the following circumstances:

  • You were injured on a premises that is owned or managed by a government entity, and the government had notice of the dangerous condition and failed to adequately warn, or
  • You were injured by the negligence of a government employee

If you believe you have a claim against a government entity, then you must act quickly because you have a strict deadline for filing your claim. You must file a written notice of your claim within six months of your injury. If you fail to file your notice, you may forfeit your right to any compensation for your injuries.

The government then has 45 days to review and investigate your claim. They may approve, deny, deny-in-part, or reject your claim. 

Get Help Filing a Claim Against the Government

Bringing an action against the government is not something you should undertake alone. Our California personal injury attorneys are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.