For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them by this section:
(1) GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. Any incorporated municipality, any county and any department, agency, board or commission of any municipality or county, municipal or county public corporations and any such instrumentality or instrumentalities acting jointly. "Governmental entity" shall also include county public school boards, municipal public school boards and city-county school boards when such boards do not operate as functions of the State of Alabama. "Governmental entity" shall also mean county or city hospital boards when such boards are instrumentalities of the municipality or county or organized pursuant to authority from a municipality or county.
(2) EMPLOYEE. An officer, official, employee or servant of a governmental entity, including elected or appointed officials, and persons acting on behalf of any governmental entity in any official capacity, temporarily or permanently, in the service of the governmental entity, whether with or without compensation, but the term "employee" shall not mean a person or other legal entity while acting in the capacity of an independent contractor under contract to the governmental entity to which this chapter applies in the event of a claim.
(3) BODILY INJURY. Any bodily injury, sickness, disease or death sustained by any person or caused by an occurrence.
(4) PROPERTY DAMAGE. Injury or destruction to tangible property caused by an occurrence.
(5) CLAIM. Any claim against a governmental entity, for money damages only, which any person is legally entitled to recover as damages caused by bodily injury or property damage caused by a negligent or wrongful act or omission committed by any employee of the governmental entity while acting within the scope of his employment, under circumstances where the governmental entity, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant for such damages under the laws of the State of Alabama.
The recovery of damages under any judgment against a governmental entity shall be limited to $100,000.00 for bodily injury or death for one person in any single occurrence. Recovery of damages under any judgment or judgments against a governmental entity shall be limited to $300,000.00 in the aggregate where more than two persons have claims or judgments on account of bodily injury or death arising out of any single occurrence. Recovery of damages under any judgment against a governmental entity shall be limited to $100,000.00 for damage or loss of property arising out of any single occurrence. No governmental entity shall settle or compromise any claim for bodily injury, death or property damage in excess of the amounts hereinabove set forth.
This chapter is not intended and shall not be construed to subject any governmental entity to liability for tort claims where liability therefor does not already exist by law. It shall not authorize any governmental entity to be sued where such authorization does not already exist by law.