How to Sue for Injury Caused by the Government

By Dante Nicolello

Did the government cause you injury or property damage? Were you involved in an accident with a government owned vehicle? Were you the victim of police violence? Did you slip and fall on government property? You can recover damages in many circumstances, but there are many rules designed to protect the government. So, if you want to sue for injury caused by the government there are a few things you must know. The first is the most important.

In most circumstances governments allow you to sue them in court, but there are many restrictions and one of them and the most important is the filing deadline. In most cases you only have 90 days to file what is called a notice of claim. This is very similar to a civil complaint. Once a notice of claim is filed, you are then given more time to get your case together and present it. Because of this, you must file the notice of claim right away, even if you are not completely prepared on the rest of the case. Once this process begins, you will probably be called in to speak with a government attorney. This process is called a deposition. It is best that you have your own lawyer present because you have to be careful how you answer question in the deposition. These answers are recorded and any contradictions you make here from other facts that are revealed will hurt your case. If there is a solid case, the government may make an offer to settle right away. If this happens, soon, you may want to try to negotiate a better offer. Sometimes a settlement is not reached and the case goes to trial. If this happens, and you win, the jury or the judge could set the award. The goal is to get the highest award possible.

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About the Author

Dante A. Nicolello is a named partner at Lau & Nicolello, LLC. He holds a JD from New York Law School and is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey.