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Can you sue Mobile and Baldwin Counties?

by | Jun 21, 2024 | LawCall Q&A | 0 comments

Question:  I fell on an uneven sidewalk and was badly injured. Shouldn’t the city pay me?

BILL:  Dealing with the government can be a complex and challenging process, whether it’s for obtaining a license or handling an injury case. The reason for this is that the government operates under a different set of rules, which they themselves create. This can be overwhelming for those seeking justice.

First, and this is true whether you are going after a city, county, or state, there is a cap on what you can collect. That means there is a maximum amount of money you can receive. For example, you can have a million dollars in medical bills but still only collect the cap, which could be ten cents on the dollar. In going after the government, I tell clients it is best to consider them 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

I just settled a case not too long ago where a lady was horribly injured.  The case settled for $100,000 because we could not get outside that cap. Now, had she been hit by, say, an 18-wheeler, then the case would have been worth a lot more. But she was not; she was hit by a police officer, so the cap was in place.

Now, there are exceptions, such as when an employee acts outside their employment (for example, a car wreck when the employee is off duty) or when a government worker does something they shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

You can say this exception for the government is wrong, but this is the way it is.

Here is one important thing to remember. The statute of limitations is different from that of a typical accident case. Do not sit around and wait. You may have as little as six months, or your case is lost forever.

This “time” thing is serious. I’ve seen it, more often than not, where a person says, “Oh, I’ve got another year.” No, you don’t. Wait too long, and you will have failed to meet the requirements under the statute. Now, don’t feel stupid. I didn’t know this quirk in the law until I started practicing law.

Let me emphasize the importance of consulting with an attorney who has a proven track record in dealing with this specific area of law. Just as you wouldn’t go to an eye doctor to remove a hernia, it’s crucial not to consult a divorce lawyer for advice on your rights in an injury case involving a government entity. They may or may not be familiar with the intricacies of such cases. Instead, seek the guidance of a well-known, AAA-qualified personal injury attorney.


Injured? You can call Bill directly at (251) 255-5000. He will talk to you for free. Plus, watch Bill every Sunday night at 10:30 on NBC 15 LawCall, our legal TV show, here in Mobile. Hosted by Andrea Ramey, it is on right after the news.