Government Vehicle Accident

Serving Daytona, Deltona and Palm Coast

(updated 2/22/2017)

Accidents involving motor vehicles injure millions of people each year. While most of these accidents involve private vehicles, a significant number involve vehicles owned or operated by the federal government, or sometimes by state or local governments. These accidents have the potential to result in serious injuries to victims, sometimes involving significant long-term medical complications or even permanent disability. As a result, both state and federal law allows victims to bring personal injury claims against a government entity when an accident was caused by negligence. 

It is important for victims to be aware of the fact that bringing tort claims against the government is much different than suing a private party, and these kinds of claims are subject to a specific set of rules. As a result, anyone injured in an accident involving a government vehicle should be certain to discuss their case with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an incident occurs.

Sovereign Immunity and Claims Against the Government

In common law systems such as that of the United States, the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity holds that governments are immune from being sued except to the extent to which they consent to such suits. Fortunately for victims of government negligence, both the federal government and the Florida government have authorized lawsuits against them through the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Florida Tort Claims Act, respectively. 

While these lawsuits allow victims to recover, they place significant limits on the amount of possible recovery as well as impose strict limitations on the amount of time in which a claim can be filed. Consequently, it is extremely important for people injured in accidents involving government vehicles to retain an attorney familiar with handling claims against the government immediately.

Types of Government Vehicle Accidents

Both the federal government and Florida operate many different types of vehicles, and accidents involving them are very similar to those involving a private party. Some of the more common types of accidents that can involve government vehicles include the following:

  • Bus accidents
  • Military vehicle accidents
  • Postal vehicle accidents
  • Accidents involving state or federal law enforcement
  • Train accidents
  • Light rail accident
  • Fire truck accidents
  • Accidents involving a vehicle operated by a state agency

Types of Damages Available to Victims after a Government Vehicle Accident

Accidents involving government vehicles can result in significant economic and non-economic losses. Many of these damages may be compensable by bringing a claim against the government or agency that caused your accident. These damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

Under both state and federal law, a plaintiff may not seek punitive damages against the government or pre-judgment interest. In addition, there are caps on both the amount of compensation that a person may recover, as well as on attorney’s fees. Even with these limits, however, people injured in accidents involving government vehicles can still obtain significant compensation for their injuries. 

As a result, it is highly advisable for anyone injured in such an accident to discuss their case with an attorney immediately in order to determine whether they have a claim. Get the compensation you deserve. Call (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.

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