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Government Liability in Car Accidents: Level of Responsibility

Posted on October 13, 2016

If you have been in a car accident with a city owned or operated vehicle, the level of liability of the government may surprise you. Of course, you should continue to follow the same steps as you would in any other car accident, such as filing a police report, collecting the names and addresses of those involved, and documenting the scene. If you think that the other party was a government entity, you will then want to contact the appropriate agency regarding your claim for damages to your person and vehicle. However, getting compensated for injuries caused by a government employee can be fairly difficult due to the immunity that the government has from being sued by citizens.

Government Immunity: Can They Be Held Responsible?

While personal injury accidents caused by government employees are one of the exceptions to the immunity rule, you must be able to prove a higher degree of negligence than that associated with personal injury resulting from a collision with another citizen. If the accident occurred while the government employee was in pursuit, such as a police officer chasing a fleeing vehicle or an ambulance getting to a home or a hospital, it will be difficult to establish liability of the government due to the emergency nature of the act. However, if the employee was in their general line of work, you must be able to prove gross negligence of that employee.

What Do I File?

In order to receive damages for any injuries sustained, you must first file an administrative claim with the government entity responsible for the damages, whether at the city, state or federal level. The statute of limitations for filing an administrative claim, depending on the agency, is between one and six months. You must do this before to filing a civil claim and may be asked to provide a settlement amount. Make sure to spend time calculating this settlement amount because you may be limited to that number for recovery and may be asked to provide the reasoning as to how that number was calculated, thus necessitating the background support for all of it. Once the city determines if they are going to settle or reject your claim and renders the decision to you, if it is denied, you can then move forward with a civil suit in court. Be patient throughout the duration of the case, as filing a claim against the government can be a long and tedious process.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Now

If you or someone you know has been in an accident due to the negligence of a government operated vehicle, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys at the office of Charles Bryan Alred, PC, in Tulsa, to discuss your claim. Contact our office using our website or call us at 918-745-9960 for a free initial consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals.