Involvement in an auto accident seems pretty cut and dry in most situations. If someone drives foolishly and causes an accident, you can file a suit against that person and seek compensation. However, things tend to get tricky when your accident involves a government employee. Even if the employee was clearly at fault, you cannot just file a car accident suit against that person and hope for quick compensation. Understanding what to do can help you navigate the murky waters of the situation more easily.
Get in Touch with a Lawyer
First and foremost, you should get in touch with a qualified car accident attorney near you. Although you cannot file a suit in court right away, a lawyer can provide the knowledge necessary so you know how best to proceed. When a car accident involves a government employee, you are dealing with the government entity that employs the individual, so it is always best to have a knowledgeable lawyer at your side.
When you deal with a standard car accident, it does not take much to prove who was at fault. Eyewitnesses and police reports can often clear things up relatively quickly, allowing you to take the guilty party to court and file for compensation of damages and injuries sustained. A car accident involving a government employee, on the other hand, is much harder to prove. Government immunity laws demand stricter guidelines for proving fault or negligence. In other words, without enough evidence, a government employee may walk away without taking the blame even if the accident was his or her fault.
Thankfully, lawyers can make sure you have the evidence you need to present to the government entity in charge of the employee. Keep in mind that even if the employee was driving his or her own vehicle, you may still need to deal with the government entity that employs that person rather than undergoing a standard procedure.
Procedures for Filing
Filing a claim is not done through a court of law initially. Instead, you must file your claim with the appropriate government entity on the city, county, state, or federal level. Make sure you are aware of the procedures involved with your claim filing in accordance with your state since procedures may vary.
However, claims must be submitted to the appropriate entity within 30 to 180 days after the accident. The government entity to which you submitted your claim may take up to six months to make a ruling on your claim. If the entity determines you should be compensated, you will receive the funds they have allocated for the situation. If the government entity denies your claim, do not give up hope. You will usually be given another six-month period to file a suit with or without the help of an attorney. It is recommended that you get more help by having an attorney assist you should you find yourself in the position to file a suit.