Government employees and entities are operated by normal people who are capable of making mistakes. They are often responsible for accidents and associated problems such as property damage and physical injuries. Like all other states, Florida does allow individuals to file lawsuits against the government in these kinds of situations, but there are some differences between an action against a person or business versus a one against a government body. Each state has adopted its own set of rules that detail how citizens can receive certain remedies when the government is found to be at fault.
Fort Lauderdale police cruiser crashes with an SUV

A police car was in the process of responding to a possible robbery at a local bank at around 9 am when it collided with another vehicle. The accident occurred at the 4800 block of North Federal Highway, while the bank that was the officer’s destination was slightly further away at the 5900 block on the same road. A detective from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department released a statement which said that the officer was taken to Broward Health Medical Center in stable condition for treatment, but the status of the occupants of the SUV were unknown. Photos of the accident showed significant damage to the front of the police car and the front and rear doors on the drivers side of the SUV, no further details about the situation were unavailable at the time of the news report.
Lawsuits against the government and sovereign immunity
Police chases or other incidents where they need to drive a high speeds are dangerous and cause many accidents on the roads. The driver of the SUV in this news story may want to hold the local government accountable for the damage to their vehicle and the associated medical bills to treat their injuries. It is certainly possible to file a negligence lawsuit against government entities after an accident just like any other defendant, but the process is not exactly the same.
In the law, many government actors traditionally had immunity from various kinds of lawsuits. This was called the doctrine of sovereign immunity and its roots go back to the idea that the aristocracy or royalty in any given country does not make mistakes. However, in more recent times this rule has been abolished and replaced by statutory law that details how lawsuits against the government can proceed, with certain important limitations.
In Florida, tort claims against governmental bodies such as counties and cities are generally limited to $200,000 per each person injured and another additional $100,000 for any dependents the person may have. Attorney’s fees are also limited to 25% of damages under the same statute, which means your lawyer would receive an absolute maximum of $50,000 for winning your case. While $200,000 may seem like a lot, there are some cases that result in permanent disabilities or death that would normally result in much larger damage awards. This kind of damage cap is a way for the government to save significant sums of money and tax dollars if they are ever held responsible for a very serious accident. While your lawyer can handle the specific procedures for filing the case against a local government, it is important to generally be aware that the damages may not be as large as if a normal person caused the same accident.
Speak to an accident attorney about your situation
After an accident in Fort Lauderdale or other nearby areas, you can schedule a consultation with Gabriela C. Novo. She is experienced in filing lawsuits after accidents, and she can help you receive the most compensation allowed by law after an accident with a government employee or anyone else.