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The State of Florida and its political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, have limited liability for damages caused by negligence of their employees, agents or volunteers acting within the scope of their employment. First of all, governmental entities generally cannot be sued for performance or failure to perform their “discretionary” functions or duties, such as activities and decisions involving permissible exercise of judgment (e.g., planning activities, considerations of public policy, etc.). Immunity from liability, however, does not extend to negligence involving “operational” functions, such as carrying out plans, implementing policies.
For example, police officers have a lot of discretion when performing their duties and generally, they cannot not be sued for exercising their judgment in deciding whether to stop a traffic offender, to give a ticket, to use force, or to make and arrest. However, when a police officer fails to comply with the police department's policies and procedure on such activities, the officers actions would fall under the operational function.
Second, the governmental liability for negligence claims is limited to $200,000 per person, 300,000 per occurrence. If the injuries are truly catastrophic, Florida legislature must approve any settlement or judgment in excess of these limits through passage of a special law. Furthermore, attorney's fees in claims against government are capped at 25%, regardless of whether the case settles pre-suit or in litigation.
Finally, there are strict statutory procedures that must be followed when filing a claim and lawsuit against a government entity in Florida. Failure to follow these procedures may result in a dismissal of a case. If you would like to have your case evaluated by an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, call our office now for a free non-obligation consultation. You owe us nothing unless we win your case, and in most cases we are able to substantially reduce our personal injury contingency fees to save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Uninsured/Underisured Motorist Coverage
Types and Sources of Insurance Coverage
Property Damage and Diminished Value Claims
Insurance Claim Process
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Recoverable Personal Injury Damages
Factors that Affect Personal Injury Case Value