Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Governmental Entities - This Land Is Your Land

In Indiana, governmental entities, political subdivisions, and certain entities imbued with their assigned tasks, are offered certain protections under the Indiana Tort Claim Immunity Statutes, better known as ITCA. Examples of governmental entities or political subdivisions are fire departments, police departments, local and state government offices, and certain EMS non-profit companies that are sole EMS service providers in their appointed area. Each entity should obtain an attorney well versed in the law associated with governmental entities, as there are certain statutory and common law protections that apply which can either bar lawsuits or provide damages caps in a lawsuit.  ITCA and the common law can also provide protections for certain actions within a negligence suit, which may allow for further narrowing of issues or damages.  Without an attorney with such specialized knowledge, your entity may not be protected.

Conversely, should you find yourself at odds with a potential governmental entity, you need to find an attorney or firm that knows how to provide appropriate notice and information to you in the event you believe a lawsuit is appropriate.  You could lose the right to claim damages against a fire department or police department just because you do not provide proper notice within 180 days. This is a protection provided these types of entities due to the very important services they provide.

All in all, the bottom line is, governmental entities are allowed protections. Whether you are one, or you need to sue one, you must remember, this Land is Your Land, but this Land affords protections to the entities that keep it going. Hence, you must play by the rules when dealing with a lawsuit involving a governmental entity, and do your homework on which entities qualify to be the same.

*The opinions expressed are of the blogger only and were not intended as legal advice or as an avenue to open a lawyer-client relationship.