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Government agencies, employees, and contractors are not immune from creating unsafe conditions on the systems or property for which they’re responsible. When victims suffer harm as a result, there are laws in place to protect their rights – including laws that let them sue the government.
However, those laws create rules and procedures unique to government liability, and provide special protections to public entities that makes it harder to hold them accountable.
Government and municipality claims present many complexities for victims seeking justice. Public entities are keen to avoid paying claims for damages, and leverage laws – including key legislation such as the California Tort Claims Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act – which exist precisely to limit the liability of the government and its agents.
These laws make it exceedingly difficult to hold public entities liable for damages, and often include protections and procedures which do not favor plaintiffs – such as government immunity, a shortened statute of limitations, and strict deadlines for reporting notices of claims.
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