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Personal Injury Newsletters

Claims against the Government

Under the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, the government cannot be sued without its permission. Sovereign immunity protects the federal government, state and local governments, and government agencies from personal injury lawsuits. However, most governments (including the federal government) have passed laws that waive their sovereign immunity under certain circumstances.

Pain and Suffering Damages

An injured plaintiff has the right to recover damages for pain and suffering that he might suffer as a result of a defendant’s tortious act against the plaintiff. Pain and suffering damages frequently constitute the largest portion of personal injury awards.

Structured Settlements

When a plaintiff brings a personal injury action against a defendant for damages and the parties decide to settle the case, they may enter into a structured settlement to compensate the plaintiff for his injury. Structured settlements are monetary awards for damages that are paid in installments over a period of time. They are frequently used to settle tort cases involving severe injuries in which large damages are sought (e.g., products liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases) because of the defendant’s inability to pay the amount in one lump sum.

The Fellow-Servant Rule

Traditionally, the "fellow-servant rule" barred an employee’s personal injury action against his or her employer if the employee’s injury was caused by a co-worker.

Tort Liability of Members of the Armed Forces

Members of the armed forces are generally immune from liability for damages to another person or to the other person’s property as long as the members were acting within the scope of their employment or their official duties and as long as the members were following a lawful command. The immunity applies to the members who were issuing the lawful command and to the members who were obeying the lawful command.