When you suffer an injury from a car accident, it can have a traumatic and long-lasting impact on your life. Fortunately, Florida law gives you the ability to be compensated for your injuries when they’re caused by the negligence of another. But when that other person is a government employee, things get much more complicated.
In most circumstances, car accidents happen because one driver is negligent. Whether they are driving while distracted or something else, they take an action which is below the standard of reasonable care we all owe to those around us. When that negligent action results in an injury, the injured person is entitled to be made whole, typically through monetary compensation. This is when personal injury lawsuits come into play.
Governmental bodies and their agencies frequently adopt the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which states that they cannot be sued without their consent. When taken to its furthest limit, a citizen has little recourse against the government when their employees commit a negligent act, even when it’s obvious the government is in the wrong.
Fortunately, Florida has waived sovereign immunity for instances where its employees commit negligence, such as a car accident. However, the waiver is not complete and there are important differences between making a claim against the government and a private citizen. There are specific notice requirements which must be followed and the employee cannot be held personally liable for their negligence.
Furthermore, the amount of damages which can be paid to the victim has been capped at $200,000. There are specific circumstances which can increase the cap to $300,000 but, for any compensation above these figures, compensation can only come from the state legislature itself.