Limitations on Government Lawsuits in West Virginia

When you or your loved one are injured by a government official or agency, it is understandable that you would want relief for the injuries sustained. However, when you file an action against government officials, there are certain limitations that dictate the type of action that may be filed. Two common limitations that will prohibit relief are government immunity and the prohibition against punitive damages. If you or your loved one have been injured in an accident or incident, you need the help of an experienced attorney to assist you in filing a claim. For a risk-free initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

What is Immunity?

In the legal world, immunity is the ability for an individual or entity to be protected from lawsuits because the person or entity enjoys a legal status where they cannot be held liable for violating the law. Immunity can be a civil or criminal law protection. A personal injury action will not stand against an individual or entity who has civil immunity protecting it against tort actions that are filed against them. It is important to understand that immunity is not just a mere defense, but plays a significant role in personal injury suits.

Government Immunity in Personal Injury Cases

Certain types of actions are prohibited due to governmental immunity, which means that you are prohibited from obtaining relief. Regardless of whether negligence occurred, the government has immunity for negligent acts performed in the course of providing police work, law enforcement, or fire protection. The stated intention behind prohibiting negligence lawsuits while performing these duties is because it is in the public interest to provide these services. It is believed that if negligence occurs and a suit is possible, these crucial services will not continue to be provided.

While there is governmental immunity for negligence cases, you or your loved one may be able to navigate around this prohibition. Where the actions by police, law enforcement, or fire protection officials are particularly egregious, you may be able to file an action against the appropriate governmental agency.

Punitive Damages

Even in cases where an action may proceed against a government agency in particularly egregious circumstances, an injured party may not collect punitive damages in any award of relief. Punitive damages are an award of monetary damages that are not intended as a form of compensation, but instead, as a form of punishment. Therefore, you or your loved one may only be entitled to compensatory damages, those damages that are intended to place the victim in the position they were in prior to the accident or incident.

Contact Colombo Law

The Colombo Law firm is located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Our attorneys are experienced personal injury lawyers who successfully handle hundreds of personal injury claims each year, obtaining justice and monetary relief for our clients. We keep our clients informed, letting them know what is involved and what to expect every step of the way. Contact Colombo Law today for a risk-free initial consultation to get you or your loved one the assistance you deserve.