What’s the Process for Filing an Injury Claim Against the Texas Government?
If the defendant in your personal injury claim is some type of government entity or employee in Texas, you must file the lawsuit against the specific unit you believe was responsible for your injury. In these cases, you have a different statute of limitation than you would in a standard personal injury case, in which you are afforded two years to file your claim. Instead, under the Texas Tort Claims Act, you have only 180 days to give written notice of your claim to the government agency in question.
In the Lone Star State, examples of government agencies include police departments, local and state governments, public hospitals, utilities providers, airports and any other agency using public funds. Government agencies are, by default, immune from liability in most cases under state common law. However, they may be liable for motor vehicle accidents and in premises liability cases.
Decisions by the Texas Supreme Court typically prevent you from filing a personal injury claim directly against an employee of the government. If you do file a suit against the employee, he or she may require the agency to be substituted into the case as the defendant. By suing a government agency directly, you forever give up your right to take legal action against the employee in question.
Under state law, you are also unable to recover punitive damages in any personal injury claim against a government entity. You can still recover economic and noneconomic damages in any amount the court approves.
Otherwise, the process for filing an injury claim against government agencies works essentially the same as any other personal injury claim. To learn more about your options, consult an experienced Houston personal injury attorney at Cire Law Firm by calling 713.532.6206 or by contacting us online.