Does the defendant have immunity?
Believe it or not there are certain defendants that have immunity. In other words, they are immune from being sued. Most governmental actors have immunity from lawsuits granted to them by the Constitution or Code.
Who are governmental actors?
- The State
- Police Officers
- Elected Officials
Just because the individuals listed above have immunity does not mean they can get away with breaking the law. There are some exceptions to their immunity. For example, a Civil Rights cause of action. As it relates specifically to personal injury law, the governmental actors automatically waive their immunity if their conduct reaches a certain level. In other words, governmental actors have agreed to allow themselves to be sued if their conduct reaches a particular level.
Normally when you become a victim of a personal injury your Attorney wants to know if the at fault party was negligent. However, when it comes to a governmental actor, their conduct has to amount to more than just mere negligence. A governmental actor’s conduct has to rise to the level of reckless disregard. Once their conduct rises to the level of reckless disregard you have the right to file suit against them.
How does this work?
Jill is driving to work one morning. It is a nice sunny day and the traffic is light. Jill comes to an intersection where she has a green light to proceed. As Jill proceeds through the intersection Officer Jack slams into the side of her vehicle causing her severe trauma. Officer Jack was responding to a noise disturbance call. A noise disturbance call is a low level call that does not rise to the level of an emergency. Officer Jack was traveling 70 mph in a 45 mph zone with no sirens, and no lights on.
After recovering from her injuries Jill calls Pepper and Odom and they file a personal injury suit against Officer Jack and the police department. The defense attorney claims that Officer Jack is immune from being sued because he was on duty and acting within his duty as a police officer.
The Attorneys at Pepper and Odom argue that Officer Jack’s conduct rose to the level of recklessness because he was traveling at very high rate of speed to a low level call with no sirens or lights. Jill is rewarded $130,000 for her personal injury claim.
Pepper and Odom Law firm represents victims that have suffered all types of injuries as a result of a personal injury. Our personal injury Attorneys have the experience to help during these very difficult times. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury by a governmental actor, and you want Attorneys with experience in handling this type of case, contact one of our Injury Lawyers today at 601-202-1111 in Mississippi or 205-250-1107 in Alabama.
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Jackson, MS 39206