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What is Governmental Liability?

If you’re hurt on government or public property due to some form of negligence on behalf of the federal or state government, you’ll want to secure compensation in order to pay for the expenses related to your injury. Governmental liability laws help provide you with the compensation you deserve.

Read on to learn more about governmental liability concerns.

Governmental Liability Throughout History

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “For most of American history, sovereign immunity almost universally protected federal and state governments and their employees from being sued without their consent.”

However, in the mid-1900s, sovereign immunity began to shift toward government accountability. The federal government passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C.§2674) in 1946, which dismissed immunity to suit and provided liability for certain behaviors.

As a result, several state legislatures established statutes designed to express the limits of immunity regarding state governmental entities and employees.

In modern times, state tort claims acts that are designed to replicate the Federal Tort Claims Act are the most common statutory waiver permitting tort claims against the state. These acts administer either a general immunity waiver with particular exclusions, or reinstate immunity with restricted waivers that are only relevant to specific types of claims.

Another type of statute that restricts immunity and provides a procedure for claims against the state are the state claims acts. These acts institute the following:

  • A special court of claims
  • Board or commission to determine claims
  • Limit damages or allow for specific exceptions to liability

Georgia’s Citations Related to State Sovereign Immunity & Tort Claims Against the State

The state of Georgia has its own unique legislation regarding state sovereign immunity and tort claims against the state.

The following are Georgia’s state legislatures regarding state sovereign immunity and tort claims against the state:

  • Citations relating to state sovereign immunity, legislative authority over immunity issues, and tort claims against the state:
    • Ga. Const. Art. I, §2, ¶9:
      • “Sovereign immunity and waiver thereof; claims against the state and its departments, agencies, officers, and employees.”
    • Ga. Code §§50-21-20 et seq.: Georgia Tort Claims Act
  • Statutes referencing discretionary function exceptions:
    • Ga. Code §50-21-24
  • Statutes prohibiting punitive damages against the state:
    • Ga. Code §50-21-30
  • Statutes providing limitations (“caps”) on damages:
    • Ga. Code §50-21-29

Georgia’s Caps on Damages for Claims Against the State

According to the 2010 Georgia Code § 50-21-29, no matter how government entities are involved, no person may recover a sum over $1 million due to a loss that came about as a result of a single occurrence. In addition, the state’s aggregate liability for a single occurrence is not to surpass $3 million.

Aggregate liability refers to the total amount of money that an insurer may be obligated to pay to their insured during a specific period of time.

For example, if you and another driver are involved in a car accident with a police officer and it’s the officer’s fault, you and the other driver involved may not recover damages that collectively exceed $3 million.

We’re Here to Help

If you were injured on government or public property, you may have recourse to help you pay for your medical bills and other expenses. Our attorney here at The Abrego Law Firm, LLC is highly experienced in these sorts of legal matters and has helped many other people obtain justice. Don’t allow a claim against the government intimidate you. The government shouldn’t be allowed to get away with negligence any more than anyone else. Don’t hesitate to contact our skilled team for help with your claim. After all, your health is nothing to let go to waste.

Call The Abrego Law Firm, LLC today at (404) 334-3324 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.