Is It True Some People Are Immune From Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

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Learning About Personal Injury Attorney Services Hello, my name is Trudy Young. Welcome to my website about personal injury attorney services. When I was in college, I was involved in an accident that required several months of recovery. I was left with lasting pain and discomfort from the injuries after healing fully. Since another party was deemed at fault, I sought help from a personal injury attorney. On this site, I want to help others understand personal injury attorney services and know when to seek support from these skilled professionals. Please come by my website anytime you want to learn more about this topic. Thank you.



Many people assume everyone who contributed to the wrongful death of their loved ones can be sued for damages and losses resulting from the incidents. Unfortunately, that's not true. There are some groups of people who cannot be sued, depending on the circumstances of the case. Here's more information about these groups and what you can do to possibly get around their immunity.

Sovereign Immunity

If your loved one's death was caused by someone who works for the government or something the government did, you may be barred from suing because of sovereign immunity. This is a legal doctrine that essentially states the government cannot be held civilly liable for its actions unless it agrees to be sued.

For instance, the federal government is immune from most civil lawsuits, but has partially waived its immunity via the Federal Tort Claims Act. You can sue for some civil wrongs (e.g. intentional injury) but not others (e.g. negligence), and you may be restricted in the type of damages you can recover (e.g. no punitive damages allowed).

However, sovereign immunity doesn't apply to every government agency or equally. It differs depending on the jurisdiction and the situation. For instance, sometimes obtaining an insurance policy to cover damages may be seen as a waiver of immunity. Other times, the state may only claim immunity in cases involving a certain amount of damages (e.g. you can't sue if damages are less than $100,000).

Generally, the only way around this issue is to challenge the agency's claims for immunity in court. For instance, you may be able to destroy the defendant's immunity defense by showing the agency he or she works for isn't, in fact, associated with the government (e.g. a private school claiming government immunity which is only available to public schools). It's best to consult with an attorney to figure out a strategy to deal with this particular type of defendant.

Judicial Immunity

There's no denying the courts make mistakes. Sometimes people are wrongly convicted or discriminated against by prosecutors and judges. Unfortunately, people employed by the judiciary system (e.g. judges) are immune from civil lawsuits. The purpose is to prevent the threat of lawsuits from stopping judicial employees from doing their jobs to the best of their ability. This means you can't sue anyone who works for the courts civilly for damages, even if the person intended to do harm.

Judicial immunity is pretty solid. The only way around it is to show the person's actions fell outside of his or her job or the behavior occurred while he or she wasn't acting in his or her position. For instance, a judge who drives drunk and kills someone can be sued for damage since the incident occurred while he or she wasn't on the bench.

For help with your wrongful death case, contact an attorney. 

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