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Houston pedestrian's injury suit names US government defendant

It used to be that governments, under the cover of a theory called "sovereign immunity," could not be sued if something done in the government's name resulted in injury to an individual. This is where the old saying, "you can't sue city hall" comes from.

But tradition has gone by the wayside and these days the government may be sued in many circumstances. The conditions have to be right, and very specific legal processes need to be followed. If you feel you have a case to make against a government entity resulting from an injury-causing accident, you should contact an attorney to see what might be required.

This appears to be something that a Houston woman has done. She claims she suffered injuries in an accident in March 2012 and that an employee of the Department of Homeland Security was responsible due to negligence. She alleges that she was legally crossing a street in Houston when a DHS-owned and operated vehicle ran her down.

She charges that the driver failed to exercise an ordinary duty of care and keep proper lookout. She is seeking compensation the amount of $10 million for medical expenses she incurred, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, physical and mental injury and disfigurement.

Filing suit against the government may be a needed step in seeking compensation, but it is not the first one. That generally involves a filing of a notice that you intend to make a claim. That gives the government a chance to make good on your claim. More likely, though, your claim will be denied and if that is the case, a suit might then follow.

Whether you proceed with such action depends a lot on the specifics of your case and whether you have followed all the appropriate steps.

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