Before now, it had been relatively difficult to hold government actors (in federal, state, and local levels) accountable for injuries they are liable of as there was no provision for such in the law. Basically, to a large extent, governments were believed to have immunity from tort liability and so, they cannot be held responsible for injury claims except they agree to be named in the lawsuit as a defendant.
But in recent years, some adjustments have been made on the law by state and federal lawmakers. Referred to as the tort claims act, these legislators have effectively passed a series of laws that constitutionally allow for the removal of governmental immunity in some situations.
However, it is important to note that the government cannot just waive its immunity without following certain procedures as required by the tort claims act. Every personal injury attorney in Florida is aware of this legal principle. In fact, an accident victim’s case that isn’t in compliance with the Florida Tort Claims Act (FTCA) will be automatically dismissed.
To this end, it is imperatively essential for every personal injury attorney in Florida to ensure that their accident victims adhere to the FTCA requirements. In a bid to clearly illustrate how the requirement of a tort claims act can be strictly applied by the court, below is a recent accident case of involved claims against a government agency.
This has to do with a recent accident case that involved a Florida police officer. The plaintiff, who was injured in the accident, didn’t hesitate to sue the city and file a claim. Basically, she was not only accusing the police officer of being liable but was also seeking compensation for her injuries.
Along with her description of the police officer’s negligence, the plaintiff also presented the time, data, and location in which the accident took place to the city which actually is in accordance with the Florida Tort Claims Act. In her claim, the plaintiff requested that full recovery is provided, as permitted by law which should include (but not limited to) past and future lost wages, medical expenses, pain, and suffering.
On the other hand, the city argued that the overall request for a full recovery as presented by the plaintiff was not in compliance with the FTCA requirement and prayed the court to dismiss the case. Under the Florida tort claims act, it is expedient for accident victims to state the specific sum of monetary damages that they seek.
It is clear that the plaintiff presented a general request for damages as part of her argument. But his didn’t go down well with the court on the basis that no meaningful dollar amount was stated on her request for “full recovery” thereby providing no level playing field for settlements negotiations to begin.