This will shock some people and be expected by others. The government has made laws that treat it differently than other businesses. If you slip on water at a grocery store, you get one set of laws. You slip at the DMV and that is a whole other type of case.
In Alabama, the process can be so convoluted that I know lawyers who would not take a case against the government if you were run over by a fire truck with no siren while you were standing in a crosswalk. Well, maybe they would take THAT case but they wouldn’t take it to trial.
There are many differences dealing with government cases. First, which government is it? Different rules apply whether you are suing the state, county or city.
Next, there is often an administrative hearing required before you can file a lawsuit and get before a judge. If you do not file this notice of claim, you may not be able to file a lawsuit …. ever.
There is also a difference in statute of limitations (the time you have to sue). In Alabama, you have 2 years to sue a business. However, you can have the same type of injury and only have 6 months to file your claim against a municipality and 1 year to file a claim against the county. It often takes that long to just know how injured you are.
And it only gets worse after you file your claim because there is a cap on the damages you can recover against a city or the county. No matter how badly you’re damaged, there is a $100,000 cap on damages you can recover from a city or county for your injuries. If you get hurt on State of Alabama property … well, in many lawyers’ opinion, just forget about collecting anything.
In my more than 2 decades of experience with such cases, I have had to tell injured people just how hard such cases can be. You can fight city hall but it is never easy.
If you are injured, you can talk to us at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no charge unless we collect for you. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Alabama personal injury lawyer