Can I sue the government for my injury?

Missouri Revised Statute 537.600 says that Missouri and its political subdivisions, or cities, villages, counties, and school districts, have sovereign immunity, or are immune from being sued, except in a few specific cases.

Motor Vehicle Exception

First, when someone is injured by a public employee who was operating a motor vehicle as part of his or her job, and that employee was negligent, or failed to follow the rules of the road, then the injured person can sue the public employee and the county or city that employs him.

Dangerous Condition of Property Exception

Second, a person can sue a public entity if public property is in a dangerous condition and that dangerous condition causes the injury. The injured person has several hurdles to bringing this claim:

  • He or she must give the public entity notice of the injury and the dangerous condition within 90 days of the injury.
  • He or she must then file a lawsuit against the public entity before the time for filing the lawsuit runs out. This time limitation is known as the statute of limitations, and the time varies depending on the type of injury.
  • He or she must prove the public entity owned and had exclusive control over the property where the injury occurred.
  • He or she must prove the condition was dangerous.
  • He or she must prove the kind of injury that occurred was foreseeable based on the dangerousness of the condition.
  • He or she must prove that either –
  • A negligent or wrongful act or omission (failure to act) of a public employee created the dangerous condition; or
  • That the entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition prior to the injury.

Because of the strict time limits and heavy burden of proof on the injured person, it is important that an injured person contact an attorney immediately if he or she is injured by a public entity operating a motor vehicle, or injured on a public entity’s property.

Our attorneys are experienced at bringing claims against governmental entities, whether it is a City, a County, or State. Contact us today at 417-999-9999 or for a free consultation and to learn your rights.

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