Damages & Personal Injury Limits Against Government Entities in Kentucky

Injuries happen all the time to residents and visitors in the state of Kentucky. In most situations where a person is harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or business, the victim is able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to recover the compensation they need.

However, if a person is injured due to the actions of a governmental entity or government employee, the process of securing compensation is much different. Here, we want to discuss the types of compensation recoverable as well as the limits on recoverable compensation in personal injury claims against government entities in Kentucky.

Can a City, County, or State be Responsible for My Injuries?

Yes, you can file a personal injury claim against a city, county, or state government entity in Kentucky. Many people are unaware of this because they think that governments have made themselves immune to lawsuits (the concept of sovereign immunity).

In many states, it is quite challenging to file a lawsuit against any type of governmental entity. However, claims against the state government in Kentucky are allowed by section 231 of the Kentucky Constitution. This part of the state constitution effectively waives the “sovereign immunity” in Kentucky, something that prevents lawsuits against many types of state governments in the country.

When we turn to Kentucky Revised Statutes section 44.070, we can see that various types of claims can be filed against Kentucky, and these cases are handled by the Kentucky Claims Commission. This Commission will hear claims resulting from car accidents, premises liability incidents, medical malpractice, and property damage.

Any claim filed against the state of Kentucky must be filed within one year from the date that the injury occurred. If a claim is not filed within this one-year time frame, the Kentucky Claims Commission will not hear the case. The Commission will have the ability to investigate the incident, hear from witnesses, and examine the evidence when they make a determination about incidents involving the state or state employees.

Individuals seeking compensation are limited to $200,000 per claim. If a single action that occurred gives rise to multiple claims (for example, a premises liability incident that injured two people from the same family and damaged their property), the damage cap is increased to $350,000. If there is more than one injured party, all damages have to be equally divided amongst them, and no single person can receive more than $200,000.

For claims involving county, city, and other local governments in Kentucky, injury victims need to be aware that each of these will have its own processes for handling claims against the government entity. For example, claims against Lexington, Kentucky, are handled by the city attorney’s office.

Is an Attorney Necessary for These Cases?

If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a government employee or government entity, you need to seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. Because these types of injury claims deal with a different set of rules than other personal injury cases, it is important to have an attorney who has handled claims against Kentucky governmental entities before. You need to make sure that your case is filed on time and appropriately and that you have someone by your side that can be an advocate in front of the Kentucky Claims Commission.