Oct 28

Suing the Government in Idaho: Tort Claims, Damage Limitations and More

Recovering damages from the government  for personal injuries caused to you presents special challenges. It is probably no surprise that there are special barriers to get over and “hoops to jump through”  before you are allowed to even file a lawsuit.

Idaho law requires an injured person file a Notice of Tort Claim with the government body involved.  This specialized procedure invites mistakes with its  special requirements.  The need to file a Notice of Tort Claim is one reason why you need an experienced law firm to help do battle with the government.

And, even if you prevail against the government in a lawsuit, it can take advantage of special legal limitations on damages that can prevent you from recovering for the full extent of your actual losses.

“The Government” Includes Many Things.

If your injury arose because of the actions of any of the following organizations r their employees, you will need to file a Notice of Tort Claim before you can file a lawsuit:

  • Any State of Idaho department;
  • Any Idaho State agency, authority, commission or board;
  • A hospital owned or operated by the State a County or a City;
  • Any Public college or university;
  • A County (sheriff /road department etc.);
  • City;
  • Municipal Corporation;
  • Health District;
  • School District;
  • Irrigation District;
  • Special Improvement or Taxing District;
  • Nursing Home established by a County or City;
  • Any other State or local governmental entity

A Notice of Tort Claim needs to be Filed Fast.

Idaho law requires you to file a proper notice of tort claim  within 180 days of your injury.   If that does not happen, any law suit you file will be thrown out of court.  The rule can be different for a minor (person under 18) but filing within 180 days is always the thing to do.

Get the Notice of Tort Claim To The Right Person.

This can be incredibly difficult to do for many reasons.  The law says the notice must be “presented to and filed with the clerk or secretary of the political subdivision. ”  Because of all the problems created by this language you should always consult with a good experienced Idaho accident and injury lawyer to make sure that your notice is filed in the right place and with the right person.

An Idaho Notice of Tort Claim Has Specific Requirements.

Idaho law does not require that you fill out a specific form–although some government entities do have forms that you can use.  For example, for Boise City you can find its form here.  The law does require that your Notice of Tort Claim contain specific information.  The things required are:

  • The conduct and circumstances which brought about the injury;
  • A Description of the injury or damage;
  • The time and place the injury or damage occurred;
  • The names of all persons involved that are known;
  • The amount of damages claimed:
  • The residence of the claimant at the time of filing the notice; and
  • The residence of the claimant for a period of six months before the filing of notice.

It needs to be signed by the claimant unless he is incapacitated, a minor or a nonresident. In those cases the notice can be filed by any relative, attorney, or agent representing the claimant.

The Government’s Response To A Notice of Tort Claim Can Vary.

Idaho law says the entity involved  has 90 days to respond.  There are basically three responses we see.  The government admits the claim accepts responsibility and offers to settle.  (Very Very rare).  It denies the claim (Rare).  It does not respond to the claim. (Common).  After the 90 days runs you then have the right to sue.  If the government offers to settle the claim and the offer is acceptable no lawsuit is necessary.   If you are not satisfied with an offer to settle, you do not have an obligation to accept it.  You can file suit to pursue your rights to recover more money.

Damages Recoverable from the Government are Limited by Idaho Injury Laws. 

In many cases, a claim against a governmental entity may be limited to $500,000 for an injury claim by this Idaho statute. There are, however, some exceptions to this limitation.  In addition, the standard Idaho cap on damages might limit your claim as well.  We discuss those limitations in more detail in this blog post.

We work to be the best injury attorneys in the State of Idaho.  So if you have questions, no matter what part of Idaho you call home- call us for a free consultation about your claim against the government , your Notice of Tort Claim or an other injury related question.  Together, we have more than 40 years experience and help people all over Idaho.  Including in Boise, Meridian,  Kuna,  Nampa,  Caldwell, Cascade, Middleton,  Eagle, · Payette, Weiser, Idaho · Mountain Home,  Twin Falls, Emmett,  Bruneau, Star, Greenleaf, Wilder,  Melba, McCall, Idaho City.

We are proud to be Idaho’s Injury Lawyers.

Permanent link to this article: http://holzeredwardsinjurylawyers.com/2011/10/suing-the-government-in-idaho-tort-claims-damage-limitations-and-more/


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    • mark washman on November 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM
    • Reply

    please send me a copy of this page thank you!

    • Karolyn on February 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM
    • Reply

    I may be interested in filling a tort claim and need more information please.

    1. Please call us to discuss. The issues that matter will have to do with the specific facts of the potential claim

    • kelly olsen on November 23, 2014 at 11:39 PM
    • Reply

    Would like more information on Tort against state agency for Spoliation of Evidence.

    1. AN independent action against the government for spoliation is likely a difficult action to pursue. A tort claim notice must be filed within 180 days

    • elberteen on December 1, 2014 at 10:24 PM
    • Reply

    I have two tort claims I have already filed but I don’t know where to go now so I might need an attorney to help me I also have another incident I’d like to discuss my name is Tina Anderson and if you’d like a copy of both tort claims I’d be happy to send then I’d like to talk to somebody in person about the other incident does it is very private any huge problems one problem that I not been able to get any help for

    1. Please contact us by telephone to discuss

    • Elisabeth Bachmeier on December 11, 2014 at 6:13 PM
    • Reply

    I must file a tort claim notice with the University of Idaho College of Law. Will you please provide me with the name of the individual who should receive the document (Kent Nelson?) and the format I should use as I prepare the notice?

    I am attempting to exhaust administrative remedies, but it is clear to me that UI is taking way too much time with this and may be attempting to extend their consideration of the facts in such a way that will pass the 180-day requirement for my tort claim notice.

    Thank you very much.

    1. We are unaffiliated with the institution in any manner-not even as alumni–and cannot provide you the information you seek in any reliable manner. Pursuant to 6-905 you may be filing a claim against the state and such a claim must be filed with the secretary of state. 6-906 applies to a “Clerk or secretary” of a political subdivision. The claim may be against the U ofI itself not the Law school based on how it is structured

        • Barbara Bachmeier on February 24, 2015 at 5:42 PM
        • Reply

        Thank you. Your response was very helpful. I spoke with somebody at the Idaho Secretary of State office. I am in the process of writing my Notice of Tort Claim against the University of Idaho. It must arrive at the Secretary of State’s office by March 8, 2015. I will need help as I pursue this, does your office “go against” UI?

        1. If it is a case that interests us we would. But we know nothing about your case Please contact us by phone

    • Riektas on March 11, 2015 at 11:48 AM
    • Reply

    Is it practical to sue the department of Vital Statistics for constant and ongoing Emotional damages?

    The reason for this is as follows: I paid the Vita-Check fee to attempt to get my daughter’s Birth Cert (to get her SSN), 6 Months (and almost $100 later) I still don’t have the cert, They said that I can get the birth Cert without my name on it with no further charges. They are essentially trying to stop me from being a father on the birth certificate so that I have to refile to get my name put on it, so they can milk me for more money.

    I just want to know if I have a leg to stand on if I was to pursue legal action against them.

    1. This does not look like a case this office would be interested in assisting you with. Other lawyers may have different views

    • Scott on November 23, 2015 at 11:53 PM
    • Reply

    Do you handle wrongful termination cases

    1. NO I am sorry we do not do that type of employment litigation

    • Jill on April 22, 2016 at 1:10 AM
    • Reply

    My daughter broke her wrist riding a scooter at the park due to unsafe conditions. There appear to be cracks or holes, not sure, along the edge of the walking path that allow grass to randomly overgrow on to pavement. It is bad enough that unless it is fixed, the grass can not be edged for a safe walking path. A scooter is not a normal item that causes a child to fall while riding. I was walking in front of her and her father was behind. She was going a normal speed. She was taken to the emergency room and is in a splint. She will be put in a cast next week. The day after the incident, that section of the lawn was mowed. The man used his weed eater on the other side of the walkway but not on the side where it occurred. It is my belief pavement may need fixed as weed whacking the grass may create holes instead of random humps. We love the park and are concerned with the safety hazard as many children love to play in that area. The uneven surface it creates is very likely to be a trip hazard for all children and especially any with bikes or scooters.

    1. Sorry to hear of this incident. YOu should call us to discuss in more detail

    • Ashley on June 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM
    • Reply

    I am interested in suing Idaho Department of Health and welfare children and family services as well as ada county prosecutor. There have been so many emotional damages and loss wages due to an incident that my kids were taken away and are still not in my custody, placed in foster care before being placed with a family knowing my mother is a social worker and my father is 4th in charge for the Idaho Army national guard. Said incident has been dropped due to “lack of evidence” against the man who committed the crime in the first place, There has been child support fraud , defamation of character and so many other attributing reasons for this

  1. […] holds to account governments, corporations and individuals for their actions.  By adding that measure of fairness, […]

  2. […] holds to account governments, corporations and individuals for their actions.  By adding that measure of fairness, […]

  3. […] of your injury to file a lawsuit.   There are some exceptions. For example, you are required to file a tort claim notice within 180 days if the government injured you and if you were injured before you were 18 the time […]

  4. […] to provide notice of the claim can mean that you lose your right to sue. The specifics of the Idaho tort claim rules are discussed in this post.  Your attorney can explain this matter in greater […]

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