Call For A Free Consultation



Understanding Sovereign Immunity in Florida Personal Injury Claims

Our Blog
Personal Injury
Understanding Sovereign Immunity in Florida Personal Injury Claims

Looking For A Specific Post? Search Below.




Understanding Sovereign Immunity in Florida Personal Injury Claims

Brubaker Injury Law

January 7, 2024

When it comes to personal injury claims involving government entities or employees, understanding sovereign immunity is crucial. Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine that shields federal or state governments and their departments from being sued and/or places limits on the damages plaintiffs can obtain. Let’s explore how this doctrine applies in Florida and its impact on personal injury cases.

What is Sovereign Immunity?

Historical Origins:

  • Sovereign immunity traces back to English common law, where the crown was considered above the people, and subjects couldn’t sue the monarchy or its agents.
  • In early American history, the United States also enjoyed immunity from lawsuits without Congressional approval.

Purpose and Rationale:

  • Sovereign immunity aims to keep the government democratic, efficient, and effective.
  • Without this doctrine, courts might be overwhelmed by civil claims against the government, hindering government functions.

Florida’s Sovereign Immunity Law:

  • Florida Statute 768.28 Title XLV allows individuals to bring tort claims against the state government.
  • Tort claims arise from property loss, personal injuries, or wrongful deaths caused by state employees’ negligence.

Limitations of Sovereign Immunity in Florida:

Damage Caps:

  • The amount of damages recoverable in a case against the state is limited to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident
  • If a plaintiff seeks more, they must petition the Florida legislature for additional damages.

No Personal Liability for Employees:

  • State employees cannot be held personally liable unless such officer, employee, or agent acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
  • Plaintiffs cannot collect punitive damages or pre-judgment interest.

Jury Unaware of Limitations:

  • Judges do not explain these limitations to the jury during trials.
  • If a jury awards more than the capped amount, only the capped sum can be collected.

Examples of Sovereign Immunity Impact:

  • Imagine a pedestrian injured due to a city bus driver’s negligence. The damages awarded by a jury may exceed the cap, but the plaintiff can only collect up to $200,000.
  • Similarly, if a state hospital’s negligence results in wrongful death, the damages recovery remains limited by sovereign immunity.

Navigating Sovereign Immunity:

  • Seek legal advice promptly if you believe your injury involves the government.
  • An experienced attorney can guide you through the complexities of sovereign immunity and help you seek fair compensation.

Remember, understanding sovereign immunity is essential for anyone pursuing a personal injury claim against the government in Florida. Consult with an attorney to protect your rights and navigate this legal landscape. 📜👨‍⚖️

For personalized legal advice or further information, feel free to reach out to our team at Brubaker Injury Law. We’re here to assist you!

Connect With Us

How Much Does It
Cost To Get A Case


Our team is here to listen, assess your case, and provide personalized guidance, all without any upfront costs. Your well-being matters, and we’re dedicated to helping you on the path to recovery.

Don’t Wait! Contact Us Today.