Suing the Government in Florida for Road Hazard Car Accidents

Suing the Government in Florida for Road Hazard Car Accidents

Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including driver error, poor weather conditions, defective automobiles and dangerous road conditions. When a road condition causes a motor vehicle accident, the driver or another injured party may have a valid claim against the government agency responsible for the road. Under Florida law, you can sue a government agency for a road hazard accident, but it can be difficult, and your potential compensation is limited.

Suing a state, county, or local government agency is a complex and challenging undertaking. Our Florida road hazard accident attorneys have experience fighting the government for compensation for accident victims. We understand the laws and rules regarding government lawsuits. You have the enormous burden of trying to get back to your normal life after a car crash. Don’t add to this by taking on a lawsuit against the state — let our attorneys handle that stress and aggravation for you.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Government Agency

When a dangerous hazard causes a motor vehicle accident, the government agency tasked with maintaining the road may be held liable for damages caused by the crash. Before you can file your lawsuit, there are several steps that you must take to determine if you can file a lawsuit for your accident.

1Did the poor road condition cause your accident?
The first step is to prove that the condition was the cause of your accident. You cannot claim that a hazard caused your crash if you were somehow negligent in causing the crash. For example, if you were reading an email, hit a pothole, and lost control of the vehicle, your claim will probably be denied. Had you not been reading an email, you could have missed the pothole or slowed down thereby avoiding the accident. The hazard needs to be the sole cause of your crash.
2Did you suffer damages?
It is not enough to prove a hazard caused your crash. You must prove that because of the crash you suffered damages. Damages may include property damage, physical injuries, and emotional stress. Simply hitting a pothole is not a sufficient cause for a lawsuit if you did not suffer any damages from running over the pothole.
3Was the agency negligent?
You must then prove that the agency responsible for maintaining and repairing the road was negligent. Did it know of the dangerous road condition and fail to take reasonable steps to repair the condition? Was the government negligent in breaching its duty of care to provide safe roads? Did the state or local authority fail to warn the public of the hazard? There must be some form of negligence to win a lawsuit for a road hazard accident.
4Can the government entity be sued?
Sovereign immunity protects most government entities and agencies from being sued. However, there are certain exceptions to this immunity. Under §768.28 of the 2016 Florida Statutes, sovereign immunity may be waived in tort actions, such as road hazard accidents, but liability is limited to $200,000 per person or $300,000 per incident. Therefore, you may have the right to sue for an accident caused by a dangerous condition, but your compensation is limited, and you must prove each element required to prevail on a negligent tort claim.

Strict Rules for Filing Lawsuits Against the Government

The statute regarding the waiver of immunity contains strict rules for filing lawsuits against the state, a county or a city. These rules apply to filing lawsuits to any government agency or employee acting within the scope of his or her job. If you fail to meet strict notice and filing deadlines, your lawsuit can be dismissed for cause.

Hiring a Florida accident attorney with experience handling claims against government entities is a wise choice. Our attorneys have the experience to take on the government for you if you have been injured in an accident caused by a dangerous road condition.

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