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Government Liability & Immunity

In its infancy, the United States had sovereign immunity for federal and state governments and their employees. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that a trend developed that held the government accountable for any cases, including wrongful death or other legal actions.

Today the State Tort Claims Act provides a waiver of immunity with expectations that apply to certain claims against the government. This probably seems like a mouthful, but having the right lawyer on your side that knows government laws can help you with a case in Provo, Utah or elsewhere.

State Claims Act

This act limits immunity to the state, and sets up a procedure for claims against the state. The board or commission will determine whether the claims are valid, and may also limit damages for certain liability. At least 33 state acts — including Utah’s — limit the damages that are recovered from judgments against the state. This is why it’s important for residents of Provo to have a lawyer that knows what actions to pursue against the state. If you plan to pursue a claim against the state, there are certain facts and assertions that need to be sent in. The government then has 60 days to inform the claimant if the claim has been approved or denied.

If immunity is waived against the government, then the department or entity will be considered as if it were a private person. This would be the case if a wrongful death occurred on government property, but again this can be a tough call against the government. According to Utah Code Ann. 63-30d-301 (5)(a), “immunity is not waived if the injury resulted from an exercise of discretionary function.” This case would determine whether a lawyer could successfully sue the Provo or Utah government for negligent acts.

There are different parts of the government that function outside the Act, including 911 emergency medical services, government volunteers and hazardous materials. All of these could lead to a wrongful death case, in which you might require a wrongful death lawyer.

Make sure you hire a lawyer that knows the law well, and what they can do to help your case against government officials in Provo or elsewhere throughout the state of Utah.

By |2016-04-06T14:25:05-06:00April 6th, 2016|wrongful death|Comments Off on Government Liability & Immunity

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