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Government Liability Accidents

State and local government entities in Pennsylvania have limited liability for accidents on their property or involving their employees. The liability limits for these types of entities are established under Pennsylvania state law.

Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 8528(b), Pennsylvania's Sovereign Immunity Act limits damages against state agencies to $250,000 per person or a total of $1,000,000 for any one accident case. The recoverable damages against the Commonwealth include past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, medical and dental expenses, loss of consortium, and property losses. State agencies may be liable in cases involving:

  • Vehicle liability
  • Medical-professional liability
  • Care, custody or control of personal property
  • Commonwealth real estate, highways and sidewalks
  • Potholes and other dangerous conditions
  • Care, custody or control of animals
  • Liquor store sales
  • National Guard activities
  • Toxoids and vaccines

Similarly, The Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act limits damages against local agencies under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 8553(b) to $500,000. The recoverable damages include past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, medical and dental expenses, loss of consortium, loss of support, and property losses. Local agencies can only be liable for the following types of cases:

  • Vehicle liability
  • Care, custody or control of personal property
  • Real property
  • Trees, traffic controls and street lighting
  • Utility service facilities
  • Streets
  • Sidewalks
  • Care, custody or control of animals

It is very important to note that while these definitions apply to government employees, the term employee as defined in Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 42 § 8501 specifically notes, “Independent contractors under contract to the government unit and their employees and agents and persons performing tasks over which the government unit has no legal right of control are not employees of the government unit.” In other words, if you sustain injuries or your loved one is killed because of the negligence of an individual who was performing work for a government entity as a contractor, there are no limits on the damages that you may be able to recover.

These are extraordinarily complex claims to handle, but you do not have to do this by yourself. The Chester County government liability accident attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices will work as a team to hold all negligent parties accountable and fight for every penny you need and deserve. Furthermore, our firm provides legal services on a contingency fee basis so you pay us absolutely nothing if we do not get you financial compensation.

You can have our government liability accident lawyers review your case and answer all of your questions when you call (610) 719-3190 to take advantage of a free legal consultation. Ciccarelli Law Offices has offices in West Chester, Philadelphia, Radnor, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Malvern, and Plymouth Square.