How Are Accidents Involving Government Vehicles Different?
There are many government vehicles. They may be operated by cities, counties, states, and the federal government. For 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation reports there were about three million government vehicles on the roads in the United States.
Here are just a few examples of government vehicles you may encounter on U.S. roads:
- United States Postal Service (USPS) mail-delivery vehicles.
- Emergency responders include police vehicles, fire trucks, and government-operated ambulances.
- Fleet vehicles such as those driven by inspectors and employees of government agencies.
- U.S. military vehicles operated by the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard.
- Department of Transportation vehicles, including road repair and maintenance equipment.
Who is responsible if you get into an accident with a government vehicle?
In an accident with a government vehicle, you must make a claim against the government agency that operates the vehicle. This is a complex process. You need the help of an attorney, so call (281) 475-4535 for a free consultation. If you are “at fault” or “partially at fault” for causing the accident, do not discuss the accident with anyone. Call your attorney first.
Limitations on Claims Made Against the Government
There is a much shorter time for the statute of limitations, which is 180 days from the accident, to file a claim. You must file your claim correctly and promptly, or you may lose your chance to receive compensation. You must wait for a claim to be denied before pursuing further legal action against the government.
If the driver who caused the accident was operating the vehicle as a government employee while working on the job, the employee might be immune from being sued. Your claim may be subject to limits depending on the government agency involved.
If you are hit by a government vehicle, what should you do?
A nightmare scenario is, you might be driving around, minding your business, on a regular day, and be hit by a police car engaged in a high-speed chase. The police vehicle giving chase may not even stop to talk with you if law enforcement is in pursuit of another vehicle. It is a terrible feeling to be hit by a police car, and then, after the accident, the police car speeds away.
Here is what you should do:
- Call 9-1-1 to report the accident.
- Request an ambulance to be taken to the hospital, even if you think the injuries may be minor. Some serious injuries may show up later.
- If you can do this safely, take as many photos of the accident damage and scene as possible.
- Be very careful what you say to anybody about the accident. Never admit guilt for causing the accident or say, “I’m sorry.” Saying less is a better option because what you say can be used against you.
- Call your attorney on (281) 475-4535.