In Florida, as in all states, if you are injured as a result of negligence by a government employee or agency, claims for compensation are going to follow a different set of rules, at least early on in the process.
F.S. 768.28 is the state’s waiver of sovereign immunity law, outlining the various scenarios under which the state will agree to be sued. The state does set a number of limitations and guidelines. For example, a government worker can’t personally be held liable for harm unless they intentionally caused it. Damages against the government are capped at $200,000 for individuals and $300,000 for multiple parties harmed by the same action. Punitive damages and interest can’t be awarded, and there are other limitations if defendant in such a case is a public health agency (including a hospital) or law enforcement agency.
There is a also a special provision dealing with time limits. If you are injured by the state government, you have to file a notice of claim with that particular agency, and only after that claim has been rejected can you file your lawsuit. You must give the state agency at least 180 days to respond, and all this has to happen within the three-year window for personal injury cases and the two-year window for wrongful death lawsuits. Continue reading