What is Sovereign Immunity and Can You Sue the Government for a Car Accident in Indiana?

When it comes to car accidents in Indiana, as a victim, you can use an Indianapolis car accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. But, what if the negligent driver and vehicle belong to a government agency? In this case, the game changes and now you have to deal with the concept of sovereign immunity. 

Let’s look at what sovereign immunity is and how it can change your personal injury claim in the case of a car accident in Indianapolis

What Is Sovereign Immunity? 

Sovereign immunity actually comes from the monarchy and the middle ages. During these ages, the King was immune from being sued because it was the law of the land. Based on this concept, there are certain rules for when and if the government can be sued, and these laws also dictate how your lawsuit will differ from normal lawsuits. 

There is a reason for putting this in place so that citizens cannot sue the government for every little thing they don’t like. In the US, it means that a government entity can not be sued if they don’t give their consent. 

That being said, you will need the help of an experienced Indianapolis accident lawyer to help you navigate your claim and get the compensation you deserve. 

What Kind of Cases Can Involve Sovereign Immunity? 

There really isn’t any kind of case that can’t involve the concept of sovereign immunity, but the most common kinds of cases in this category are: 

  1. A car or truck accident that may involve a government vehicle
  2. Any kind of injury caused by a government employee while they are carrying out their jobs
  3. Any kind of slip and fall accidents or injuries that may take place on government-owned premises

Personal injury claims against the government can be very difficult to handle, so it is important to hire a professional Indianapolis accident lawyer to take your claim forward. 

How Will Sovereign Immunity Affect Your Personal Injury Claim in Indiana?

Sovereign immunity will only affect your claim when a government agency or an employee in their working capacity is responsible for the accident. For example, if a government employee is driving a government vehicle as part of their job and hits you. It doesn’t apply if the same employee hits you with their personal vehicle. Here are two ways in which your personal injury claim will be affected by sovereign immunity:

  1. You will only have 270 days after the accident to file a personal injury claim against the negligent government agency. 
  2. You will have to go through the process of an administrative claim. This means that if your claim is against the federal government, you will have to go through a process outside the court. This usually gives the government agency a chance to reach a settlement outside court. A settlement rarely happens this way, but you will have to go through the process anyway.

The case can be more complicated than this and there may be other aspects that need your attention. This is why it is important to engage an Indianapolis car accident lawyer to take care of these details for you. 

How Can You File a Personal Injury Claim Against the Government in Indiana? 

In order to sue the Indiana government, you need to file a Notice of Tort Claim for your personal injury. In Indiana, you have only 270 days after the date of the accident to file your claim. The state caps the compensation at $700,000 and you can not recover any punitive damages through this claim. 

If the claim is against your local municipal government, you will need to file a Notice of Tort Claim against the government and you will have exactly 180 days after the accident occurs to do so. 

Contact an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer 

Suing the government is a hectic business. Especially when you’ve been in an accident and are recovering from serious injuries and losses. Rowe & Hamilton is an Indianapolis law firm that has been fighting for the rights of victims for over 32 years. 

Our clients are our top priority and we care about them. It is this care and attention to detail that our experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyers bring to the table when handling your case. 

We evaluate your case and file the Notice of Tort Claim on your behalf. Our lawyer will take care of all the legalities while you focus on your health and recovery period. 

Our goal is to get you the maximum compensation for your losses that were incurred during the accident. Call us and see how we can help you file your claim and win your case. 

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