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Posted By DAM Firm | February 21 2014 | English

The American legal system is widely referred as one of the best in the world. While it is far from perfect and examples of injustice such as wrongful convictions are revealed in the headlines of newspapers almost daily, victims here even have the right to sue the government. And, more importantly, they can and do win. Because some countries do not allow people to sue the government, immigrants often fail to consider suing the government here. Every level of government can be sued for wrongdoing or negligently causing harm. And, every person, regardless of immigration status can sue a wrongdoer, including the government.

School districts, Cities, Counties, States, and even the Federal government can be sued for the wrongful or negligent acts of its Officials, employees or agents. Every year tens of thousands of claims and lawsuits are filed against a multitude of agencies and programs that are administered by a governmental entity. And millions of dollars are paid to successful claimants every year. Sometimes victims find it difficult to see that their injury was caused by a governmental error or negligence. A recent California case illustrates why it is important to discuss serious injury cases with experienced Orange County personal injury attorneys.

A young doctor was hit by a car while crossing the street in a legal crosswalk in Sacramento. Most people would only think to sue the driver and/or owner of the car in this type of case. Fortunately, her attorney did what all good attorneys do. He looked for others that may have caused or contributed to the auto accident. His investigation revealed that the city of Sacramento failed to make the crosswalk safe or to close it. He convinced a jury that this was negligence and that it caused or contributed to the accident. The jury awarded the permanently disabled doctor $18 million dollars for her injuries.

The claimant’s lawyer found a Federal Highway Administration study that determined that intersections that have more than 3 lanes and marked crosswalks BUT NO SIGNAL (traffic light) increase the risk to pedestrians 4 ½ times. He also presented photos showing that tress made it difficult for pedestrians to see approaching vehicles. He told the jury “if you put in marked crosswalks, you’re telling people it’s safe to cross there. It should never have been there.” The jury agreed.

Without the right to sue the government and without a good attorney to know what to do, this victim would have been limited to receiving very little money. In California, drivers and vehicle owners are legally required to have only $15,000 of liability insurance to compensate victims of their negligence. And some drivers and owners do not have any liability insurance at all. Government claims are not available unless victims can show that a government agency, employee or agent caused or contributed to their harm. In this case, like thousands of cases every year, the victim’s good lawyer did just that. ¡NO SE DEJE! ®

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