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Government Liability in Virginia Personal Injury Accidents

After a person suffers injuries because of another’s negligence, they may be able to recover for the damages they sustained. However, Virginia injury victims may face challenges when the negligent party is a government entity. Historically, individuals could not file lawsuits against governmental agencies. The Virginia Tort Claims Act (VTCA) is a statutory mechanism that provides government entities with protection against lawsuits. However, the VTCA also provides injury victims with recourse against the government in certain situations.

Government entities or their employees may face liability for accidents caused by their negligence. Government entities include city, state, and federal agencies and employees. Some common instances where the government may be liable is if a person slips and falls due to a dangerous condition at a government building such as a public library or school. Similarly, government entities may be responsible if an employee causes a Virginia car accident while performing work duties. For example, an appellate court in another jurisdiction recently issued an opinion in a car accident case involving issues of governmental immunity. In that case, the plaintiff was driving his employer’s vehicle when he rear-ended a city garbage truck. He filed a lawsuit against the municipality, alleging that the county was negligent in its operation of the garbage truck. However, the court held that the plaintiff did not provide enough evidence to overcome governmental immunity and dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal. This case illustrates that holding the government accountable can be difficult. However, it is not impossible.

Virginia injury victims must abide by special procedural rules to successfully file and resolve a lawsuit against a government agency or employee. First, it is essential to note that the VTCA only applies in cases where the offending party engaged in ordinary negligence. Next, Virginia Code Section 8.01-195.6 mandates complainants file a written notice statement to the responsible agencies. The notice must include details of the incident, including the date, time, and place of the injury. Claims against the Commonwealth of Virginia must be filed within one year of the incident; however, claims against a city or town must be filed within six months. Virginia claimants bear the burden of proving that the other party received notice. As such, claimants should send their notice of a lawsuit through certified mail and request a return receipt. After the government responds with a settlement, a refusal, or fails to respond within a reasonable time, the injury victim may proceed with a lawsuit.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Virginia Government Agency or Employee?

If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to the negligence of a Virginia government entity or employee, contact the attorneys at Robinson Law, PLLC. Personal injury lawsuits against the government can pose significant challenges, and it is crucial to retain an experienced attorney to help you understand your rights and remedies. The attorneys at Robinson Law can help you get the monetary compensation that you deserve. Our dedicated team of attorneys skillfully handle Virginia car accident cases, slip-and-fall claims, medical malpractice lawsuits, and other personal injury matters. To learn more, contact Robinson Law at 703-542-4008 to schedule your free initial consultation. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you recover for your injuries.

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