Tennessee Government Tort Liability Act Lawyers
If you are injured by someone’s negligence or recklessness, you can file a personal injury claim for damages. However, there are special rules for filing a claim if the at-fault party is a government employee or entity in Tennessee that is covered by the Government Tort Liability Act (GTLA). If you think you were hurt in an accident and the government is responsible, you should speak to a Tennessee GTLA lawyer today at Raybin & Weissman.
What Are Common Examples Of Government Negligence?
A common cause of accidents is the misuse of government vehicles. Many state and local organizations use government vehicles, and if the government employee is negligent while driving, the GTLA can come into play. Some vehicle accidents that involve a government entity include:
- Accidents involving law enforcement or firefighters
- Truck accidents involving state or local employees
- Hazardous road conditions caused by a government organization
Road accidents are not the only type of incident that can cause injury due to government errors. Others might include slip and falls in government buildings or injuries due to police misconduct, including excessive force.
When a government employee is negligent or unlawful and causes injuries, you should not have to bear the costs and losses involved in the incident. Discuss your options with a skilled GTLA attorney.
Compensation Under GTLA
Compensation for a personal injury claim under Tennessee’s GTLA may include economic and non-economic damages. These could include your medical bills, lost earnings, property damages, loss of future income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, the GTLA limits how much you can collect for your losses. For example, a bodily injury claim is limited to $300,000 for one person, and the amount is capped per incident at $700,000. In addition, property damage is limited to $100,000.
A one-year statute of limitations is in effect for claims against government entities in Tennessee. Further, most of these cases are decided by a judge, not a jury. These are only some of the rules the GTLA sets out for suing the government for injuries.
When Can The Government Waive Immunity?
Generally speaking, the government is immune from being sued by citizens for injuries. However, government entity immunity in an auto accident or another injury-causing incident may be waived in certain situations. The following conditions need to apply, using the auto accident example:
- The car or truck must be operated or owned by a government entity
- The vehicle was being used by the employee to do their job and was not for a private purpose
- The government driver was negligent and caused the accident
- The accident caused by the government entity caused you physical harm
- You have damages, such as lost wages and medical expenses
You should have your case reviewed by a Tennessee GTLA attorney today to determine if a government entity can be held liable. These are complicated cases, and the government will fight liability, but your attorney will always fight for your rights.
Negligence, Recklessness, or Gross Negligence
The GTLA states that government immunity can be waived based on negligent conduct. However, the Appellate court in Tennessee recently held that claims based on recklessness or gross negligence should also qualify for waived immunity, even if the GTLA does not expressly state this. It seems as if the precedent moving forward will allow recklessness and gross negligence to fall under the GTLA, resulting in fairer results for injury victims.
Our law firm stays on top of new developments in the law, and we can apply new changes to your case to seek the best possible outcome.
Types Of Damages Available in GTLA Case
In any personal injury case, any costs incurred or paid out of pocket because of injuries are your economic damages. The law allows you to be “made whole” and returned to how you were before the accident, within the GTLA liability limitations. Some of the damages you might receive in a GTLA lawsuit in Tennessee are:
- Medical costs: Medical treatments for auto accident victims start with ER treatment and could go on for weeks, months, or years after the incident. You may be entitled to compensation for hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, nursing care, and medical appointments.
- Property damage: A car accident caused by a government employee could damage your vehicle. You may sue the liable driver for the costs to repair your vehicle. You also may be entitled to damages for valuable personal items damaged or destroyed in the crash.
- Lost income: You may be entitled to damages if you spend time out of work because of the accident. Compensation may include the time you miss at work, lost promotions, lost bonuses, and more.
- Pain and suffering: If you are injured after the accident, you could have pain and suffering that prevent you from working, going to school, and enjoying life. As noted earlier, Tennessee has limits for the damages you can receive for pain and suffering. However, the damage caps are removed if the liable driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
- Wrongful death: Tennessee personal injury laws allow you to collect damages if the government worker causes an accident that kills your loved one. Damages could include funeral and burial costs, medical costs, and compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one suffered before they died. In addition, a spouse can seek compensation for lost companionship and loss of consortium.
Important Deadlines For GTLA Lawsuits
Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for suing a government agency. There are occasional exceptions, such as if the injured person is a minor or you are incapacitated because of your personal injuries. Therefore, it is smart to seek legal help quickly after the accident to ensure you file within the statute of limitations.
Contact A Nashville GTLA Lawyer Today
If a Tennessee government employee injured you, you might be eligible for compensation, but your claim must comply with all requirements under the GTLA. The law firm of Raybin & Weissman does not hesitate to take on cases against government agencies, whether they involve auto accident injuries or police brutality.
Contact us today for a complimentary consultation about your GTLA accident case.