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Government Tort Claims

Lawyers For Claims Against The Government

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Recovering damages from the government for personal injuries caused to you presents special challenges. It is probably no surprise that there are special barriers to get over and “hoops to jump through”  before you are allowed to even file a lawsuit.

The Process Of Suing The Government In Idaho

Idaho law requires an injured person file a Notice of Tort Claim with the government body involved.  This specialized procedure invites mistakes with its  special requirements.  The need to file a Notice of Tort Claim is one reason why you need an experienced law firm to help do battle with the government.

And, even if you prevail against the government in a lawsuit, it can take advantage of special legal limitations on damages that can prevent you from recovering for the full extent of your actual losses.

“The Government” Includes Many Things.

If your injury arose because of the actions of any of the following organizations r their employees, you will need to file a Notice of Tort Claim before you can file a lawsuit:

  • Any State of Idaho department;
  • Any Idaho State agency, authority, commission or board;
  • A hospital owned or operated by the State a County or a City;
  • Any Public college or university;
  • A County (sheriff /road department etc.);
  • City;
  • Municipal Corporation;
  • Health District;
  • School District;
  • Irrigation District;
  • Special Improvement or Taxing District;
  • Nursing Home established by a County or City;
  • Any other State or local governmental entity

A Notice of Tort Claim needs to be Filed Fast.

Idaho law requires you to file a proper notice of tort claim  within 180 days of your injury.   If that does not happen, any law suit you file will be thrown out of court.  The rule can be different for a minor (person under 18) but filing within 180 days is always the thing to do.

Get the Notice of Tort Claim To The Right Person.

This can be incredibly difficult to do for many reasons.  The law says the notice must be “presented to and filed with the clerk or secretary of the political subdivision. ”  Because of all the problems created by this language you should always consult with a good experienced Idaho accident and injury lawyer to make sure that your notice is filed in the right place and with the right person.

An Idaho Notice of Tort Claim Has Specific Requirements.

Idaho law does not require that you fill out a specific form–although some government entities do have forms that you can use.  For example, for Boise City you can find its form here.  The law does require that your Notice of Tort Claim contain specific information.  The things required are:

  • The conduct and circumstances which brought about the injury;
  • A Description of the injury or damage;
  • The time and place the injury or damage occurred;
  • The names of all persons involved that are known;
  • The amount of damages claimed:
  • The residence of the claimant at the time of filing the notice; and
  • The residence of the claimant for a period of six months before the filing of notice.

It needs to be signed by the claimant unless he is incapacitated, a minor or a nonresident. In those cases the notice can be filed by any relative, attorney, or agent representing the claimant.

The Government’s Response To A Notice of Tort Claim Can Vary.

Idaho law says the entity involved  has 90 days to respond.  There are basically three responses we see.  The government admits the claim accepts responsibility and offers to settle.  (Very Very rare).  It denies the claim (Rare).  It does not respond to the claim. (Common).  After the 90 days runs you then have the right to sue.  If the government offers to settle the claim and the offer is acceptable no lawsuit is necessary.   If you are not satisfied with an offer to settle, you do not have an obligation to accept it.  You can file suit to pursue your rights to recover more money.

Damages Recoverable from the Government are Limited by Idaho Injury Laws.

In many cases, a claim against a governmental entity may be limited to $500,000 for an injury claim by this Idaho statute. There are, however, some exceptions to this limitation.  In addition, the standard Idaho cap on damages might limit your claim as well.

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