What Is A Claims Bill And How Does It Work?
The Florida legislature recently announced it had earmarked over $3 million to settle a claim that a motorist was severely injured by a state employee. When you file a lawsuit against the government, statutory caps prevent you from securing settlements in excess of $200,000. But what happens when your injuries are so severe that you require round-the-clock medical care, can no longer work to sustain yourself, or $200,000 just isn’t going to cut it?
In those cases, your attorney can file a claims bill with the legislature. While the legislature is under no specific requirement to pay out the claims bill, it remains the only way that a Florida resident filing a lawsuit against the government can recover more than $200,000.
The state employee veered into oncoming traffic leading to a head-on collision with the plaintiff. The plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries in the crash and continues to suffer negative effects still. Today, she cannot lift one of her arms, cannot walk without the aid of a cane, and has problems with incontinence. In other words, she is not in a good place physically or emotionally and there is no hope that she will ever fully recover from these injuries.
Compensation for damages
The $3 million figure sounds about right for an accident of this type. The state employee was found to be 100% negligent for the crash. The plaintiff had just finished a shift at work and was on her way home when the accident occurred. She had to be pried out of the vehicle in order to save her life.
As a result of her injuries, she suffered severe disability which will continue for the remainder of her life. She will not be able to do the things she once enjoyed and can no longer work her job as a nurse. In these cases, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for the lost wages they would have earned if they were still alive. Further, the plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for any out-of-pocket medical expenses they paid. If a plaintiff requires future medical care, that will also need to be compensated too. Finally, the reduced quality of life that the plaintiff experiences due to the defendant’s negligence are compensable.
As stated earlier, sovereign immunity prevents awards in excess of $200,000. An attorney representing a plaintiff with significant injuries has the option of filing a claims bill with the legislature when appropriate. This was obviously one of those cases where the legislature thought it just to compensate the plaintiff for her injuries. However, claims bills are rarely compensated to this degree and the legislature does not often hand out millions of dollars.
Talk to a Port St. Lucie and Stuart, FL Personal Injury Attorney
Eighmie Law Firm files personal injury lawsuits on behalf of injured plaintiffs. Call our Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers today to set up a free consultation and we can begin discussing your next moves immediately.