San Diego Government Vehicle Accident Lawyers
While we would like to assume that government agencies and workers will always act in good faith, the reality is that they are just as prone to human error as anyone else. When that error turns into driver negligence, everyday people can become victims of serious car accidents with government vehicles. These situations are especially devastating because of how complicated and difficult it is for victims to pursue compensation, and many sadly get rejected for not having their case reviewed by a legal expert.
If you are hit by a government vehicle, you only have six months to initiate the claim process before you lose the right to seek compensation and you should not hesitate to reach out to jD LAW. Our San Diego government vehicle accident attorney can launch an in-depth investigation into your case, collect all evidence of damages and negligence, and review your claim so not a single detail is missed. If your claim is rejected, we can then pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault government agency and advocate for the highest possible compensation available. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
While most government agencies are protected against lawsuits based on sovereign immunity, the California Tort Claims Act does outline specific scenarios where accident victims can pursue a claim for compensation. Among these various scenarios are car accident claims, which can include:
- Crashes with public buses
- Collisions in crosswalks between government contractors and pedestrians
- Intersection accidents between law enforcement and other drivers
- Government maintenance vehicles that side-swipe cyclists
Before you can file a lawsuit in a civil court, you must first file a claim with the specific agency that caused the accident within six months of the date of your accident or injury. Claims can be filed with the Office of Risk Management (ORM) Government Claims Program (GCP) for a small fee, but you will want to have all documents reviewed by an attorney first to ensure you have a strong case.
Once your claim is submitted, the GCP staff will review your case to determine if it meets jurisdiction, sufficiency, and timeliness requirements, after which they make a recommendation based on the facts of the case and input from the department concerned. The government has 45 days to respond to your claim.
If the government denies your claim or does not respond within 45 days, you are entitled to sue the department concerned in a civil court. Your lawsuit must be filed within six months after the 45 days, or from the date the government ended your claim review, whichever comes first.
In comparison to a standard car accident claim against a private insurer, time limits are much shorter in a car accident case involving a government vehicle. You must file a claim within six months of the date of the crash, as opposed to the two years you would have in a private car accident claim.
Alongside the time limit, victims must also clearly outline how the government agency or employee acted in negligence and caused their injuries. The wording within the Tort Claims Act is also very strict, as it only considers legitimate claims wherein an employee was “acting within the scope of his or her employment” or was “carrying out some government function.” Based on this rule, victims must also show that the government employee driving the vehicle was also on-duty and acting as an extension of the government, not as a private citizen. Besides government employees, government contractors can also be found liable to injuries under the Tort Claim Act under the same wording that applies to government employees.
Every claim must also include the following information:
- The victim’s name and address
- The date of the accident
- Where the accident occurred
- The circumstances of the accident
- A description of the victim’s injuries, damages, or losses at this point in the claim
- The name of the government employee who caused the injuries
- The total amount of damages sought in the claim
Damages as outlined in the claim are a little complicated, as it may vary depending on the size of your claim. For damages totally no more than $10,000, you must include the estimated amount you are seeking. For cases that exceed $10,000, you do not have to include the amount, but must state if you have a limited civil case, which is a case that is between $10,000 and $25,000.
Government vehicle accident cases are complicated and especially stressful for accident victims who should only have to focus on recovering. Filing out claim forms, reviewing evidence, and cataloging damages can all take a significant amount of time during a normal car accident claim, much less one with a tight deadline. If you have been injured in a crash with a government vehicle, contact jD LAW at (760) 630-2000. We could take legal action to fight to hold the responsible parties accountable—even if the defendant is the government. When we take on a case, our San Diego car accident attorneys can help you pursue full and fair compensation.
Don’t Wait A Second Longer
When you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you need legal help. Contact jD LAW, today to get the justice you deserve.