When suing a government entity in Georgia, there are special considerations since the process differs from suing an individual or private business. The legal concept of sovereign immunity is common in the United States as it prohibits a plaintiff from suing a governmental unit or agent without the consent of the governmental unit. By statute, the State of Georgia adopts a limited waiver of sovereign immunity for tort claims.
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In O.C.G.A. § 50-21-23, the State of Georgia waives its sovereign immunity for the torts of state officers and employees acting within the scope of their employment or other official duties. Thus, it is liable for their torts as a private individual or entity would be liable under similar circumstances, although exceptions exist.
However, a state officer or employee who commits a tort while acting within the scope of his or her employment or other official duties is not subject individually to lawsuit or liability per O.C.G.A. § 50-21-25. Thus, state officers are only liable for acts individually that they commit which are not within the scope of his or her employment or other official duties.
When suing government entities in the State of Georgia, the first step is to file a notice of claim, which must typically be filed within six months after an accident for municipalities and one year for counties and state governmental units. This notice of a potential claim provides the government with an opportunity to reach some settlement before a lawsuit is filed.
Where do you turn once you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a government entity in the State of Georgia? An experienced personal injury attorney like H. Lehman Franklin or Kimberly Ward may offer the assistance necessary at this stressful time when you may be feeling like David going up against Goliath.
Our office is located at 127 North Main Street in Statesboro, GA (30458). We proudly serve Bulloch County, as well as the surrounding counties of Candler, Evans, Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins. Contact our office by telephone at 912-764-9616, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out online at hlfranklin.com. We’re available to meet your legal needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.