Chapter 258 Cases
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts employs over 60,000 people. Local Cities and Towns employ another 75,000 people. This includes everyone from the governor to teachers to police officers to public works employees. With this many people, it’s inevitable that a government employee will negligently injure another person. It happens in many ways, including many car accidents.What Do I Do If I’m Injured by a Government Employee
In Massachusetts, there is a law that controls the ability of people to sue the government for injuries, called Chapter 258. This law was enacted because of an old legal principle called Sovereign Immunity. Dating back to the middle ages, this meant that people weren’t allowed to sue the king. As time went on, this changed into not being able to sue state or local governments for injuries they caused. Therefore, the legislature enacted this law to give innocent victims a way to be made whole.What Kind of Government Employees are Covered?
The first thing to figure out is whether a certain employee is covered. Many are specifically listed in the law, including employees of the Department of Transportation, MBTA, regional transit authorities, and the Massachusetts Port Authority. In essence, most people you think of as government employees are covered by the law, including police officers, firefighters, local town employees, and state workers.What Makes These Cases Special?
There are many nuances that can affect your case. These includes:
- $100,000.00 Damages Cap: The most you will be able to recover against the government is $100,000. While this might sound like a lot, it will also include attorneys’ fees and medical bill payments.
- Other Damages Limits: if you go to Court, the government is immune from both prejudgment and postjudgment interest. You cannot sue the government for punitive damages. You’re also unable to get reimbursed for your costs if you win at trial.
- Presentment: Claims need to be presented to the government within 2 years of it happening. While the Statute of Limitations remains 3 years, written notice must still be given within the 2 year limit.
- Tort Exemptions: Certain exemptions remain for certain types of conduct. For example, some claims based on omissions of a public employee are barred, meaning an affirmative act is required.
Some cases against the government are more difficult than other types of cases. For example, if you were in a car accident with a public employee, the government is usually pretty fair with how it deals with it. A rear-end car accident is fairly cut and dry, no matter who was driving. On the other hand, other more tenuous claims can be more difficult to pursue. That’s because the government and its insurance companies know that the deck is stacked against you, making it more difficult for you to be justly compensated.Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
At Marcotte Law Firm, we have represented many people injured due to the negligence of the government. Though we understand the difficulties of these cases, we do all that we can to level the playing field, giving you the best chance possible to be compensated for your injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured because of the negligence of a state, local, or other government employee, call the Attorneys at Marcotte law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation.