When Can You Sue the Government in New Jersey?

Experienced Attorneys Helping Victims with Claims Against Public Entities across New Jersey

Claims against public entities generally work just like any other personal injury lawsuit, but some special limitations apply. Many of these limitations are very specific. Some of the more notable rules are set forth below.

  • Public figures have limited immunity if they accidentally cause an injury because of a judgment or decision they made in good faith as part of their job. But even then, they can’t act recklessly or show complete disregard for your safety.
  • Public employees are not immune if they were acting outside the scope of their public duties when they caused the injury. In other words, if the injury was unrelated to their job tasks, they are unlikely to qualify for governmental immunity.
  • Public employees are never immune from responsibility for actual fraud, crimes, willful misconduct, or other outrageous behavior.
  • When suing governmental parties, claims for emotional pain and suffering are only allowed if you have suffered substantial and permanent disfigurement, dismemberment, or loss of bodily function. To prove the permanent injury, you’ll need to show objective medical evidence.
  • If your case goes to trial, the court will decide how much of the injury was the government’s fault and limit your award accordingly. As a general example, if you have a $100,000 injury but the court decides the government agency/employee was only 80% at fault, you’ll only receive $80,000.  An attorney can tell you more about how damages might be calculated in your case.

These are only a few of the special limitations that apply to claims brought against public entities. Title 59 contains numerous provisions that may or may not govern your situation, and you should consult with a New Jersey personal injury attorney to understand how the law might treat your case. Contact our offices today to see if you have a case, and how we can help you file a claim.

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