A tort is a type of civil case where one party seeks to rectify loss or harm they suffered at the hands of someone else. Tort claims can include cases like intentional infliction of emotional distress, financial loss, injuries, and invasion of privacy, amongst others. Tort law is one of the foundations of personal injury cases. But what happens when a federal or state government agency causes you injury?
In Massachusetts, there are special rules that govern torts filed against state employees. For example, imagine a bus hits you while you’re driving your car. According to Massachusetts tort acts, the driver of the bus is liable for the accident on behalf of the government. However, there is a $100,000 cap on the amount of financial restitution that you can claim in a state tort case.
These rules are meant to counteract sovereign immunity laws, which limit the government’s liability in a case. It’s important to note that while the bus driver in this scenario is liable on behalf of the government, they retain personal immunity for any negligent act, but not an intentional act.
Massachusetts tort acts also cover defects in public buildings or areas. If you are injured because a public space is not up to code, you can sue the government. This can cover situations like:
- Slips and falls
- Chemical spills
- Broken floors, stairs or elevators
- Other dangerous property
Massachusetts state law has a two-year statute of limitations on tort cases. This means that you must file your case within two years of when your injury occurred, or a defense attorney can file a motion to throw it out of court.
Federal torts are governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act. This is a highly-complex piece of legislation that limits the amount of liability a private citizen or company can seek against the federal government because of the actions of its employees.
If you have any questions about these complex legal frameworks, attorney William Crowley can help. Attorney Crowley has practiced tort law in the Boston area for more than 35 years. That’s given him the experience and background to try any sort of tort claim. Call today to schedule a free consultation and see what your case may be worth.