If you’re injured on publicly owned property, you might want to know who is liable. The attorneys at Springer & Lyle would refer you to the Texas Tort Claims Act for guidance. It gives the state, counties and municipalities certain immunities when they’re performing government functions unless they clearly and unambiguously waive their immunity. That’s called the law of sovereign immunity, and it comes from the old English law that the king can do no wrong.
In the context of liability for personal injury, Texas governmental entities and agencies have clearly and unambiguously waived their immunities in specific areas. These areas are in connection with injuries or property damage arising from the use of a motor vehicle or motor driven equipment by an employee acting in the scope of his or her employment. They’ve also waived immunity for the use of personal property or dangerous conditions on real property. These are general statements of the law though, and more specific details apply that a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney at Springer & Lyle can advise you on.
It’s especially important to remember that the Texas Tort Claims Act requires notice of your injury to be given to the governmental entity that you intend to sue well before any applicable statute of limitations period expires. Notice deadlines might be as short as 60 to 90 days after the occurrence, depending on what entity you’re going to sue. This is a strict prerequisite. Failure to provide appropriate and timely notice of injury and intent to sue a governmental entity can result in dismissal of a lawsuit.
Also be aware of the fact that if indeed you are permitted to sue a governmental entity for personal injury, damages caps exist. Cap amounts depend on whether you’re suing the state, a county, a municipality or an emergency services organization.
Getting over the hurdles of successfully bringing a case against a governmental entity in Texas is a complex endeavor. Governments have made it difficult to successfully sue them. Here at Springer & Lyle, our practice is focused on the law of personal injury. We’ve successfully brought cases against governmental entities in Texas in the past. You’ll need experienced, professional and aggressive attorneys on any governmental liability case. If you or somebody close to you has been injured on publicly owned property, call Springer & Lyle right away for a free consultation and case evaluation.