Can the Government Be Held Liable in an Auto Accident Case?
You’ve been involved in an accident with another motor vehicle and aren’t sure where to turn. Usually, after a personal injury accident, when liability is clear, you won’t run into too many difficulties with your case, whether you choose to go through with settlement or litigation. But what about cases that involve the government? These cases become a bit more complicated.
No matter what, you have a right to bring a claim against the person who was legally responsible for your injuries after you suffered from a traffic accident. This means that you will be able to receive damages from the liable party to pay for your medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and a variety of other damages. Some of the government officials you may be able to bring a claim against include police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, mail carriers, and more.
Understanding the Federal Tort Claims Act
You may have heard of a theory known as sovereign immunity, which means that you are not permitted to sue the government without its permission. Under something known as the Federal Tort Claims Act, specific lawsuits can be brought against the government provided federal employees were acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred. This means that you will have to follow these procedures no matter how your injury occurred if a government entity was involved.
Under the FTCA, the agency has 6 months to respond and determine if they’re going to reject your claim and refuse to pay or help you with compensation for the total amount of damages you deserve. If the agency doesn’t give you a decision within 6 months, you can move forward with your lawsuit.
As you know, there are many reasons the government could be held liable for an accident that does not involve vehicles. They could be held liable, for instance, for injuries that result when you have tripped and fallen inside a post office if there were adverse conditions that they should have fixed before customers were invited onto the property. However, things become a bit more difficult in vehicle accidents. If you sue the government in a vehicle accident, the threshold for proving the fault of another driver is a bit higher if the individual works for the government.
For instance, what if you were involved in an accident with an ambulance? If the ambulance had their sirens and lights on and you acted negligently on your part and did not pull over where you were supposed to, it may be difficult to bring a claim. Both parties must be watchful of one another, especially when safety is a major concern.
As you can see, there are many complexities in these accident cases. For one, you have a statute of limitations to meet when moving forward. Secondly, you have to understand the protections the government might have in your case. No matter what, when you have been injured in an accident, you should always have an experienced attorney on your side. We are here for you when you have been injured in a car accident at the Los Angeles Injury Group. We want to speak to you as soon as possible to get started on your case and bring you the results you deserve. Call us for more information at 310-954-7248.