Traditionally, the State of Florida could not be sued for the actions or omissions of its employees, including those who operate commercial vehicles on behalf of the state government. This traditional rule applies also to all government agencies and subdivisions, such as cities and counties.
While there were reasons for this rule, what it would mean in the present day is that many Tampa-area people could well suffer serious injuries because of a negligent government employee who does not driver his or her vehicle properly or even in violation of legal regulations. However, these people would not be able to get compensation for their losses.
Fortunately, Florida, like many other states, has by law expressly waived its legal protection from lawsuits and allows its citizens and others to sue the government for negligence or other torts. There are a couple of special rules, however, that Floridians who do intend to sue the state need to keep in mind.
For one, the amount of compensation the law requires the state to pay is capped at $200,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. While people are free to ask for more compensation, a government agency has no obligation to pay it without further action on the part of Florida lawmakers. Moreover, the government need not carry insurance beyond these limits. If the government does, however, it is allowed to pay up the limits of applicable insurance coverage, even if those limits exceed those stated in the law.
The other thing Tampa residents need to keep in mind is that they have to submit their claim to the government agency affected before they rush to the courtroom. There are strict time limits that apply to submitting a claim, and if a person misses a deadline for doing so, they may well be out of luck when it comes to filing a lawsuit.
While filing a claim against the state is possible in Florida, it can be difficult. It may be best to do so with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney.