Hello. My name is John Alexander and I am a personal injury attorney located in Oakland County, Michigan and serving statewide. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about personal injury cases against the government.
Every now and then a Michigan citizen may be injured by a city, a county or a state employee. Generally speaking, if the county, or a city, or the state was at fault there is really no claim against the government. The government under Michigan law is immune from torque suits and that goes back to the old England days where “the King can do no wrong”. However, there are a few exceptions when a person that is injured by a government employee may possibly bring a claim.
One of the exceptions, if you will, to governmental immunity is if a person is injured in an automobile accident by a government employee. An example is your typical car crash by a county, a state, or even a city official. There is no immunity under that situation and you have the full rights, as if a private person hit you.
The other type of exception to governmental immunity is a building defect for example. Let’s say you walk into a public building and the roof falls on you, then you have a claim since building defects are an exception to governmental immunity, but it must be to the structural aspect of the building. You can’t for example, slip and fall on some water on the floor, or trip and fall on an outside sidewalk, or your son or daughter gets injured on a playground at school, those kind of suits are immune since they do not involve structural defects.
Another type of exception to governmental immunity is a road defect. For example if your car hits a pothole or a series of potholes on a washboard road and crashes and you do sustain some injuries, you possibly have a claim against the city, the county or the state; whoever is in charge of that road. But it’s a very limited and narrow exception. The defect has to be in the road. Prior Michigan law used to be that anything affecting road travel, you can make a claim. For example, malfunction in traffic lighting, both sides of an intersection showed green and there was a car crash. Under our older law you could make a claim against the governmental entity that, you know, was negligent in monitoring the traffic signals. But under today’s law that traffic signal is not a defect in the road, so there is no claim.
Oakland County Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Injury Cases Against the Government
If you feel that you’ve been injured by the government or government employee feel free to call me to discuss your case at no charge at 248-290-5600. Thank you.