Car accidents do not always involve two independent, private drivers; sometimes, you are involved in a car accident with a government vehicle. When this occurs, it is important to note that a state employee often receives protection from liability, through sovereign immunity.
What is sovereign immunity?
Ohio Legal Services, funded by the Ohio State Bar Association, defines sovereign immunity as, “The doctrine that a government or government agency cannot be sued in its own court without its consent.” In other words, a state or state entity receives protection from liability in certain instances. However, Ohio has waived its immunity from liability, detailed in O.R.C. § 2743.02.
Note: Many recent statute changes and court decisions have also allowed accident victims to file against smaller entities such as cities or counties.
Rules for Filing a Claim against the State
Even though you may be able to file a claim against the state for an accident involving a city or state vehicle, you must follow certain rules in doing so. For example, if an accident victim brings a claim against the state of Ohio or one of its entities, the victim must bring the claim in the Court of Claims.
In addition, a victim must file a claim against a state within two years’ time from the date that the accident occurred. You must also ensure you complete your Claim Form accurately or the state could deny your claim.
For many people, having an attorney who can help them to file their claim is incredibly helpful. After you file your claim, the state agency against which you are filing your claim will conduct an investigation. You will receive a copy of the investigative report within 60 days’ time.
If the agency offers you a fair settlement, you may close your case or, if the settlement is unfair, you may choose to go to trial. If so, seeking legal counsel is of utmost importance.
Learn More About Filing Claims Against the State
Filing a claim against the state on your own is difficult, and winning a claim can be even more so. To help you stand up against a state or state entity, you need an attorney who is trustworthy and who has worked on these claim types before. To represent you during your time of need, contact the Ohio car accident attorneys at Bressman Law.
Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation: 877-538-1116.