A Michigan government liability lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was injured due to the negligence of a state or local government agency. In many instances, you can sue the government.
There are many special rules when you sue the State of Michigan or a local governmental entity, so it is essential that you choose a top-rated Michigan personal injury law firm to handle your case.
Many lawyers are unfamiliar with the requirements for suing the government, and this could negatively affect your ability to file a government injury lawsuit. The Buckfire Law Firm has successfully filed Michigan governmental liability lawsuits and won great settlements for our clients.
- Maintaining Public Highways in Michigan
- Public Building Defect Cases in Michigan
- Motor Vehicle Crashes & Accidents
- Medical Malpractice and Negligent Treatment Provided to Patients
- Is there a Time Deadline to File a Michigan Government Injury Lawsuit?
Common Types of Michigan Governmental Injury Lawsuits
Many common types of personal injury cases cannot be filed against government entities in Michigan. There is a state statute that provides exceptions to the governmental immunity laws. If your case fits within an exception, you can sue the State of Michigan or a local government for compensation.
The most common types of Michigan government injury lawsuits include the following, which are all exceptions to the governmental immunity statute:
Maintaining Public Highways in Michigan
It is the government’s duty in the State of Michigan to make public roads and highways safe for vehicular travel. This exception applies to every “highway, road, or street that is open for public travel.”
The public highway exception applies to both state and local departments responsible for maintaining a roadway, such as the Michigan Department of Transportation, county road commissions, and city and township departments charged with making street and road repairs.
The exception requires the responsible depart to maintain a road “in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel.” The defect must also exist for more than thirty days before an injury or accident. Our experienced dangerous road attorneys hire top roadway safety engineers to prove a road is defective and that the condition likely existed for greater than thirty days.
Examples of defective highway cases include injuries caused by potholes, cement drop-offs, broken and cracked cement, and other conditions that cause or contribute to a serious injury accident.
Cases are not limited to occupants of a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can also file claims against a government entity for failing to maintain a highway, road, or street in Michigan.
Michigan Sidewalk Defect Lawsuits
There is a sidewalk defect exception to governmental immunity laws. A person walking or riding a bicycle on a public sidewalk can sue for damages if a defect on the sidewalk caused a fall or serious injury. This exception applies to local municipalities, like cities and townships, and not to the State of Michigan or the county where the sidewalk is located.
And again, there must be some evidence that the sidewalk defect existed for more than 30 days before the injury and that the local government knew or should have known of its existence. Our trip and fall lawyers will complete a full investigation, including tracking down witnesses, to prove this requirement.
You cannot sue for the build-up of ice and snow on a public sidewalk, but only for a dangerous condition itself. This includes raised sidewalks and broken concrete. For a raised sidewalk, the height differential must be two inches or more, also known as the “two-inch rule” to pursue a case.
Public Building Defect Cases in Michigan
The public building exception to governmental immunity in Michigan permits an injured person to sue a governmental entity that failed to maintain or repair a public building. To pursue a claim, the injured person must prove the following requirements:
- The involvement of a governmental agency or entity.
- The building involved was open to the public at the time of the injury.
- A dangerous or defective condition exists with regard to the building.
- The government knew or should have known of the defect.
- The government did not repair the defective condition within a reasonable period of time.
Public building defects cases can be filed against public schools, housing units, parking structures, government buildings, and government-owned hospitals. Injuries that occur outside a building, like in a surface parking or school playground generally do not fall within this exception.
If you or someone you care about was injured due to a defect in a public building, you should speak with an award-winning Michigan government liability lawyer to see if you can sue for an injury in a government building.
Motor Vehicle Crashes & Accidents
When a driver operates a government vehicle and injures someone as a result of negligence, the government agency is legally responsible for the employee’s driving mistakes. Examples of cases against the government for a motor vehicle crash include cases involving:
- Public buses, both school buses and commuter buses
- Police vehicles, fire truck, and emergency vehicles
- Trucks, like road commission vehicles
- All other vehicles driven by a government employee during the course of employment.
In addition to suing the government for pain and suffering damages, the injured person can also claim Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits. These benefits include payment of medical bills, lost wages, medical mileage for appointments, attendant care services, and household services.
Our government liability attorneys will assist you in suing the government employee who caused the crash and filing your claims for no-fault insurance benefits. Call us now to start your case.
Medical Malpractice and Negligent Treatment Provided to Patients
There are a number of publicly owned and operated medical facilities in the State of Michigan. This includes the University of Michigan Hospital and smaller urban and rural hospitals and medical clinics. Other government medical facilities in Michigan include psychiatric hospitals and prison systems.
A patient who is harmed, injured, or dies due to the medical malpractice of a doctor, nurse, or other health provider can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the individuals and the facility.
In some cases, the negligent medical provider is employed by the government but works at a private facility. Depending on the facts, you may be able to file a lawsuit in this circumstance.
Medical malpractice lawsuits involving public employees require special expertise in both suing the government and in handling the complexities of medical negligence cases. Our experienced malpractice team will evaluate your case and review your medical records to see if you qualify.
Government Engaged in a Proprietary Function
There are occasions when the government is acting like a private business to generate a profit.
If an activity is not being supported by taxes and government fees, it may qualify as an exception to governmental immunity. For example, if a person is charged money to participate in an event or is on public property for a specific purpose the exception may apply.
Examples of proprietary functions include fairs, fireworks, childcare centers, sporting events, and some recreational activities and functions. A Michigan government liability lawyer at The Buckfire Law Firm will fully evaluate your case to determine if you can sue the government under this exception.
Sewage Disposal Systems
There are cases that can be filed against a governmental entity for sewage disposal issues. Many of these are filed as class action lawsuits on behalf of a large number of residents who suffer basement sewage backups and other draining issues. Claims are most often for property damage.
Are there Special Requirements to Sue the State of Michigan?
For many government liability cases, the injured person must provide written notice to the responsible and liable governmental unit within a specified time after the injury. The written notice must provide the reason for the claim, the basis for an exception to immunity, a statement of the injuries and damages, and other facts specified in the applicable statute.
The failure to serve written notice timely will be a complete bar on your ability to bring a case. As such, it is important to contact an experienced government liability attorney as soon as possible after the injury or action giving rise to a personal injury or medical malpractice claim.
Is there a Time Deadline to File a Michigan Government Injury Lawsuit?
In addition to the special requirements stated above, there are statute of limitations deadlines for specific case types. The time period for filing a lawsuit depends on the type of case and the employee that caused the injury. For example, a negligent driving case must be filed three years after the accident and a medical malpractice case must generally be filed within two years of an injury.
How much are Michigan Government Personal Injury Settlements?
The amount of a Michigan governmental liability settlement depends on the unique facts of each case. Settlements can include compensation for pain and suffering, scars and disfigurements, mental anguish, lost income, medical expenses, and other financial harms. For cases involving a death, the surviving family members can file a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit demanding compensation for their losses.
Examples of Michigan Government Injury Settlements
- $4,500,000 medical malpractice lawsuit against a state-operated hospital
- $3,000,000 bus accident settlement against a negligent city bus driver
- $1,800,000 settlement for a fatal police car chase crash
- $900,000 settlement for a motorcyclist injured due to a highway pothole
- $475,000 for a raised, defective sidewalk causing a fall and spinal cord injury.
Contact a Michigan Government Injury Lawsuit Lawyer Now
If you or someone you care about was injured or died due to a government failure, you should contact a Michigan government liability lawyer at The Buckfire Law Firm today. We will gather evidence, review your case, and sue the government if your case meets the legal criteria.
We do not charge any legal fees unless you win a settlement. And it costs no money to get started!
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