Injured in An Accident With A Government Vehicle
Car accident personal injury claims are typically straight forward, but when a government vehicle is involved, the rules change. A government vehicle accident occurs when the driver is a city, county, state, or federal employee who is driving a government vehicle while performing his official duties. In many instances, the actual employee will be immune from lawsuits, but the government can be held accountable. The rules can be complicated, so don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation if you have any questions or need help filing a claim.
How to File a Claim
When you are dealing with a government vehicle, you need to take certain steps to file your claim that differ from an ordinary car accident personal injury claim. First, you must file your claim within 6 months of the accident, or you will lose your ability to file a suit and recover compensation.
You must file the claim with the Department of General Services by using a Government Claim Form. The government has 45 days to respond to your claim. If the government denies your claim, you will have six months from the date of the denial to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. If they simply fail to respond to your claim, the time to file your personal injury claim is extended to 2 years from the date of the incident.
Another important thing to remember when filing a claim against the government is that your claim must include all claims you intend to bring against them. If you don’t include all claims, you will likely be barred from raising those claims at a later date.
One of the most crucial aspects of a claim against the government is showing that you suffered harm from the accident. This typically includes evidence of property damage and physical injuries.
What to do When Injured by a Government Vehicle
If you were injured in an accident with a government vehicle, the steps you should take immediately after will be similar or identical to any other type of car accident, in many respects. The process of pursuing the claim will differ. After the accident, consider taking the following steps:
Seek Medical Attention
After the accident you should always seek medical attention. Even if you don’t have any visible injuries, it’s wise to visit a medical professional to rule out any internal injuries. The injuries you suffered will play a significant role in any type of personal injury claim, so this step will help with any future claims in addition to making sure you are safe and healthy.
Contact the Police
After the accident, you should always call the police if they are not there already. A police report may become useful if you decide to file a claim. Always get a copy of the police/accident report that the officer generates.
If you have your cell phone and can do so safely, taking photos can be incredibly helpful for a future lawsuit. Photograph any visible injuries, property damage, and damage to the other vehicle involved in the accident.
Contact Information of Witnesses
If there are witnesses to the accident, it’s always an excellent idea to try to obtain their name and contact information. This way, you can provide the information to your attorney and they can interview the witness to help substantiate your claim.
If you were injured in an accident with a government vehicle and need help or have any questions, contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.