Injury Claims Against The Government

April 10, 2023

The vast majority of injury claims in West Virginia take place and the civil court system and involve regular citizens of the state. However, there are times when an individual may need to file an injury claim against a government entity. Here, we want to examine what it takes to file an injury claim against state, county, or a local municipal government in West Virginia.

Types of Injury Claims Against a Government Entity

There are various types of injury claims that could be filed against a government entity in West Virginia. Just like any other business or individual, government entities and those who work for them make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are made due to careless or negligent actions. In some cases, government employees intentionally cause harm to others.

Some of the most common injury claims associated with government entities include cases involving:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Other types of premises liability claims
  • Intentional acts of violence perpetrated by a government employee

When a person sustains an injury caused by the negligence of another party, they can typically file a civil personal injury lawsuit and start the process of recovering compensation. However, the process of filing an injury claim against a government entity in West Virginia is different.

Why These Cases are Different

Unlike a traditional personal injury claim, government entities typically come with various types of immunity when it comes to injury claims. In the state of West Virginia, much of this immunity has been waived for situations where individuals sustained injuries caused by a government entity or employee negligence. However, state law has set up specific requirements for filing these claims.

The biggest differences involving injury claims against a government entity in West Virginia has to do with requirements for notification. A traditional lawsuit will be filed in the West Virginia civil court system, but a lawsuit against the government must begin with a Notice of Claim that is not filed with the court but rather filed with each government employee or entity that allegedly caused the injuries.

We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Martinsburg personal injury attorney to help determine what information needs to be included in your notice. After the claim gets filed, there is a waiting period associated with filing a lawsuit. Usually, an individual will have to wait 30 to 120 days after filing a Notice of Claim before they file a lawsuit.

In a regular personal injury case, individuals typically have two years from the date an injury occurs to file a claim against the alleged negligent party. In many states across the country, the deadline for filing a claim against a government agency is much shorter. However, West Virginia residents have two years to file a claim, just like the regular personal injury statute of limitations.

Filing a Claim Against the Federal Government

Individuals who wish to file an injury claim against the U.S. government must do so through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). In order to file a claim under the FTCA, the injury must have occurred as a result of the careless or negligent actions of a federal employee or federal agency. There are specific requirements in place for a FTCA to move forward, and we encourage you to reach out to an attorney if you have been harmed due to the actions of a federal employee.


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