Settling the damages from a car accident with a government car can be challenging. There are strict rules in place that dictate which actions you can take to recover damages. If you were in an accident with a government vehicle, here is what you need to know.
Can You Sue the Government?
In most instances, when you want to take action against the appropriate agency for an accident caused by an employee, you have to file an administrative claim for damages before you can proceed to the lawsuit stage. Your claim will need to be filed within a certain period of time or you could lose the right to take action against the responsible agency.
When you file your claim, it is important that you include facts about the accident and the damages that you incurred from the incident. You also need to include copies of evidence that shows your damages, such as medical bills.
The agency will review your claim and determine whether or not it is valid. If so, the agency will determine how much will be paid towards your damages. If the agency does not feel that your claim was valid, you can choose to file a lawsuit at that point.
What Damages Can You Claim?
Unlike car accidents involving civilians, there are limitations to what you can sue for in an accident involving a government vehicle. You can ask for damages related to the repair of your vehicle. If the vehicle is beyond repair, you can ask for the fair market value of your car.
You can also ask for compensation for your medical bills. If there was any other property loss, such as your clothes that you were wearing at the time of the accident were damaged, you can also include them in your accident.
Unfortunately, you cannot ask for damages that are outside of property loss and other tangible damages. For instance, you cannot ask for punitive damages. The government is protected by law from those damages.
How Can You Prove Your Case?
Since you are dealing with the government, you have to be organized before you file your claim. If the police were called to the scene at the time of the accident, obtain a copy of the report.
You also need to investigate and find the agency responsible for processing your claim. Ideally, the information will be provided on the police report, but if it is not, start with the agency that you suspect is responsible. If not, you should receive guidance on which agency to contact.
To make sure your claim is processed properly, work with an experienced car accident attorney from a firm like True Guarnieri Ayer LLP.
We all know that lawyers are professionals who help people interpret and work with the law, but do you know how a law firm works from the inside out? I am a professional paralegal, and I have worked in both large and small law firms during my career. I can tell you that a successful law firm needs more than just lawyers to keep it running smoothly, and sometimes things can get really crazy! Take a tour through a law firm in my blog, and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of an active and successful law firm.