After My Accident, Can I Sue the County?
Strict rules may not seem worth challenging, but an attorney should thoroughly review car accidents and the law. For example, many drivers have wondered “can I sue the county in this case?”
The law considers the county immune in most instances. However, some exceptions exist. The exceptions usually involve county employees, and the county immunity is set aside when injury or wrongful death occurs. Moreover, there is a recognized statutory limit that the county enforces unless this amount is less than the liability insurance amount the county holds. Details may be reviewed at OCGA 36-1-4, OCGA 36-92-2, OCGA 33-24-51, and Gilbert v. Richardson 264 Ga, 744 from 1994.
Nevertheless, the county and any subsidiary divisions are immune in most other cases. Understandably, this can cause distress if you feel that county was clearly negligent, and your choices may seem limited at best — nonexistent at worst. Fortunately, the professionals at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines may offer solutions that resolve your case justly.
When you cannot sue the county, you may have other options.
Suing the county may be too broad. However, you can sue a custodian, a teacher, or various school officials as individuals if they engaged in specific negligence that caused your injury. Government employees can be sued in a personal capacity. In that case, the outcome will depend upon whether they determine the negligence within or beyond the limit of county immunity. If they deem the activity as within the protection of the county, the severity of the of the injury will not matter. Thus, immunity would be in place even if death occurs.
Your claim would be substantiated if the employee has broken a clear and concrete written rule, but not if the negligence occurred due to a subjective judgement call. For example, school policy may state that all students must wear protective goggles during all laboratory experiments. Therefore, if a teacher fails to enforce this policy and a student eye injury occurs, the lawsuit may move forward against the teacher. The county will typically pay any monetary damages a jury determines in this type of case.
However, a different result could occur if the policy requires using goggles when conducting an experiment involving explosive. The injurious experiment would not qualify if they determine the choice of eye-wear was a judgment call. Hence, the teacher would be immune in this scenario, and the lawsuit would not occur.
Slip and Fall Cases
The same rules apply regarding slip or fall cases at schools, and this includes injuries involving play equipment and altercations. Additionally, you must submit “before litigation” notices to the county that you intend to sue.
Contact our Law Firm Today
You have twelve months from the date of your loss to submit your litigation notice in the state of Georgia. OCGA 36-11-1 provides detailed information regarding notice submission. However, if you have questions about car accidents, suing the county, or suing county employees, call the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines before it is too late to take action.
Our attorneys service the entire Metro Atlanta area. Call us at 770-941-0913 today.