Typically, when the negligence of a person, business, or other entity results in injury to another, the injured party can pursue a Maryland personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, when the at-fault party is a government entity, certain complications can arise.
Under the U.S. Constitution, as originally written, the state and federal governments were unable to be held liable for their actions. However, over time the inequities of this rule became apparent, as accident victims often found themselves with no means of recovery. Thus, the state and federal governments passed laws called “tort claims acts,” under which certain lawsuits against the government were allowed.
The Maryland Tort Claims Act is contained in Maryland Code sections 12-101 through 12-110 and broadly waives the state government’s immunity. Specifically, the Act waives immunity in any tort action but limits the amount of recovery to $400,000 to a single person for injuries arising from a single incident or occurrence. However, to successfully bring a case against a government entity, specific steps must be taken.