Regulations Rooted in Ancient England
Sovereign immunity is a judicial doctrine that prevents the government or its political subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without its consent. The doctrine stems from the ancient English principle that the monarch [i.e., King] can do no wrong.
Historically, in America, you could not make a claim against the government if you were injured by a government employee in the course of his work. The law was rigid and the rule that ‘the king can do no wrong’ prevented any recovery for damages caused by the ‘king’s servants.’
Over the years this rule of law has been changed by the Congress, Legislatures and the Courts. Presently, you may sue the State for injuries you may suffer, but there are many exceptions and limitations with complex procedures and time limits. This right to bring a lawsuit is only granted by ‘permission’ of the governing bodies. This ‘permission’ to sue is granted by specific State and Federal Statutes, and the procedure to be followed is strict. Unless you follow the procedures you do not have ‘permission’ to bring a lawsuit against the Federal, State or Municipal Governments.
Our attorneys will answer any questions you may have with regard to your claim. Contact us today at the Law Firm of Altman Legal Group to arrange for your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
Claims against the Federal Government
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives sovereign immunity only for the acts or omissions of an “employee of the government while acting within the scope of his office or employment. . .” (28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)). However, the FTCA is a limited waiver of sovereign immunity and there are numerous exceptions. The provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act are strictly construed and must be followed if a valid claim against the government is to be accepted and compensation obtained for injuries caused by the acts and/or omissions of government employees.
For example, an administrative claim must be timely filed with the proper federal agency which then has six months to act on it. Failure to properly file an administrative claim in proper form means no or limited recovery.
Claims against the Federal Government can be pursued successfully, though they often take some time to resolve just by nature of the federal government which never moves too quickly. Nonetheless, if the strict requirements are followed, the Federal Tort Claims Act still is a very valuable asset when it comes to compensating the innocent victims of the negligent acts of government employees.
Claims against Local or State Governments
States also have statutes governing the rights to bring a suit against the State, Municipalities or State Agencies. Each State provides for different procedures and remedies which must be carefully followed.
State statutes may allow claims against the state or political subdivisions such as:
- Cities or Towns
- School Boards & Districts
- Municipal Trusts and Housing Authorities
- Any State Agency
- Each State Tort
Texas and Oklahoma both have Statutes covering claims against the State or its political subdivisions. They both have different procedures which must be followed and exceptions which limit recovery in certain types of claims.
Serving North Texas and Southern Oklahoma
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a government employee, contact the personal injury lawyers at Altman Legal Group. With offices in Wichita Falls and Lawton, we serve clients throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
Altman Legal Group has handled many claims against State and Federal Government. Our clients come from Texas cities including Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Graham, Sheppard Air Force Base, Iowa Park, Henrietta, Electra, Seymour, Eastland, Vernon, Jacksboro, Stephenville and many others. Cities we serve in Oklahoma include Lawton, Duncan, Ft. Sill, Altus, and many more.
Our attorneys are ready to serve you. If your life has been changed because of the careless acts of a government employee, call our Lawton or Wichita Falls office toll-free at 1-800-772-0828.