Can You Sue the City of St. Louis for a Personal Injury?

Lawyer reviewing personal injury law papers

Were you injured in an accident in St. Louis that was caused by a city worker’s negligence or wrongful acts? If so, you may wonder if you can sue the City of St. Louis to seek compensation. The answer is yes, but it comes with several caveats.

What Is Sovereign Immunity and How Does It Apply in Cases Against St. Louis? 

The doctrine of sovereign immunity traces its roots back centuries to old English common law, which held that the monarch, by divine right, could do no wrong. This also meant their government stood above the law and could not be sued. Because U.S. law grew out of British traditions, it inherited many of these old common laws, including  sovereign immunity.

However, the federal government and state governments in the United States eventually recognized the unfairness of affording the government immunity for the same actions private parties would bear liability for. As such, Congress and state legislatures have passed laws waiving sovereign immunity for specific categories of civil claims.  

The City of St. Louis has also adopted ordinances authorizing the creation of a self-insurance plan to accept liability for the same types of claims for which Missouri waived its state sovereign immunity. 

For What Injuries Can the City of St. Louis Be Held Responsible?

Today, sovereign immunity applies to many civil claims that a private party could file against the state of Missouri or its government entities. However, Missouri law and local ordinances in St. Louis recognize several exceptions to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, including accidents involving public employees’ negligent operation of motor vehicles in the course of their employment.

Additionally, the city may waive sovereign immunity for any injuries caused by unsafe conditions of public property, provided the injured party can show that:

  • There was a dangerous condition on the property at the time of their injury;
  • The condition caused their injury;
  • The condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury; and
  • A negligent or wrongful act by a public employee created the condition during their employment; or
  • An employee had sufficient notice of the condition to take action to protect against an accident and failed to do so.

For accidents involving dangerous conditions on roads, the government has a defense to an injury claim if it can show that the road complied with generally accepted road design standards at the time of construction.

How to File an Injury Claim Against St. Louis City 

To file a personal injury claim against the City of St. Louis, your attorney would contact the City Counselor’s office to report your claim as soon as possible. It is critical to note that Missouri law requires claimants to file a claim with municipalities like the City of St. Louis within 90 days of the accident

Your claim should include relevant information such as:

  • Your name and address
  • The date, time, and location of your injury
  • A statement of the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury
  • A description of the compensation sought

Accident claims against the City of St. Louis can be more complicated than other accident claims, in part because of the 90-day notice requirements and the need to follow municipal codes and procedures. That means it is crucial that you get help from our experienced municipal injury claim attorneys in St. Louis

What Damages Can Be Recovered from the City of St. Louis, and Are They Limited? 

If you were injured by an employee of the City of St. Louis or on public property, you can demand economic damages and non-economic damages, including compensation for your:

  • Medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation 
  • Costs of long-term disability care
  • Ongoing and future lost wages and employment benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced enjoyment and quality of life
  • Property damage

Under Missouri law, cities like St. Louis can limit their liability for injury claims by purchasing insurance or self-insuring for tort claims. The limit of liability for tort claims cannot exceed $2 million for all claims arising from a single accident or $300,000 per person injured in an accident. 

Talk to Our St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys Now

Are you ready to demand justice? Then contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, today for a free consultation with our attorneys to discuss your legal options for seeking fair compensation from the City of St. Louis in a personal injury case.

Brent Sumner

Brent A. Sumner is the Managing Partner at Sumner Law Group, LLC. He focuses his practice exclusively on cases that involve serious personal injuries. Over the years, he has successfully represented thousands of individuals and families, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured accident victims.