One of the most complex areas of personal injury deals with the law of municipalities and jurisdictions. We have extensive experience in representing individuals injured by the negligence of various municipalities and jurisdictions including the City of Chicago. The law differs greatly when it comes to being properly compensated in an injury claim because of the special protections municipalities have from lawsuits. It is crucial that you have the right legal representation so you can receive the monetary compensation you are entitled to.
Why Do Municipalities & Jurisdictions Have Protection?
It is common for governmental entities to have some immunity from lawsuits. This is so they can perform and function without the worry of constant litigation. However, there are and should be exceptions for certain types of misconduct. The Tort Immunity Act has granted municipalities immunity, which can prevent recovery. These include:
- Immunity for adopting or failing to adopt a law or enforcing or failing to enforce a law
- Immunity for negligence connected with the administration of licenses or permits
- Negligence connected with the inspection of property for health and safety hazards
- Immunity for negligence connected with injuries resulting from unsafe conditions of property if the local governmental entity had no actual or constructive notice of the condition
- Immunity for the negligent failure to supervise activity on public property
- Negligence connected with injuries resulting from participation in hazardous recreational activities
When Would a Municipality Not Have Protection?
There are certain circumstances in which even the Tort Immunity Act would not protect a municipality from liability. Often it is based on the conduct of either the municipality or its employees. If actions were done intentionally to cause harm or they possessed a complete indifference for the safety of others or personal property, then immunity would not apply. Proving intention or gross negligence can be difficult, but with a knowledgeable attorney, you increase your chances substantially.
How Can I Sue a Municipality or Jurisdiction?
In Illinois, the majority of lawsuits are under the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims. The Court of Claims consists of seven judges that are appointed by the Governor. They hear cases regarding the Workers’ Compensation Act, state contracts, and tort cases against the state. In order to receive compensation you would first need an experienced attorney familiar with municipality liability. Your attorney would then direct you to the next steps dependent on the individual facts in your case.
How Much Can I Recover?
The Court of Claims Act has a $100,000 damage limitation and therefore many Plaintiffs try to avoid application of the Court of Claims Act for this reason. It is not uncommon for personal injury claims to rise above $100,000 in damages from medical bills alone. There are exceptions to this $100,000 limit but they follow a rigid set of circumstances. This area of the law requires special knowledge and expertise by an attorney who truly understands municipalities and jurisdictions. Choosing the right attorney may mean the difference between full compensation and walking out empty-handed.
Call an Experienced Chicago Municipal Liability Attorney Immediately
It is very important that you talk with the right lawyers familiar with municipal liability. Proving negligence against a school district or a city is much different than proving negligence against the owner of an apartment who doesn’t have those various immunities and protections. Don’t put your case in the hands of legal novices. Call or text the Blumenshine Law Group for your free case evaluation at (312) 766-1000 or email us at [email protected].