Being in a Florida car accident or truck accident is often difficult enough. After such an accident, you may face serious injuries as well as trauma, lost income, and huge medical bills. If your accident involves a government vehicle, however, you have some added challenges and you may wish to consult a qualified Florida personal injury attorney about the accident.
In most Florida car accidents, if someone’s negligence has caused the accident and you have suffered serious injuries and losses, you can bring a legal action against that person (or, more correctly, their insurance provider) in order to recover the costs of your injuries and losses. In the case of a government vehicle, however, the situation is more complicated because state, federal, county, and city governments all enjoy what is known as “sovereign immunity” or “government immunity.” This doctrine, and the legal decisions passed down from courts about this doctrine over the years, have limited the instances in which the government and government employees can be sued in personal injury accidents and other types of accidents.
There are many government vehicles on Florida roads all affected by this doctrine. If you are in an accident with a firefighter, police officer, mail carrier, ambulance driver, your legal claim may be effected by government immunity, even if the government employee was clearly at fault. In these cases and in any case involving a government vehicle, the incident is generally governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which provides some waiver of the government’s immunity – but only in cases where employees are negligent within their employment.
There are other things which can affect your claim against a government in the event of a Florida car accident involving a government vehicle. For example, the burden of proving driver responsibility will be much higher in these cases. You will need a very experienced Florida personal injury attorney who can very definitely prove that the government employee was negligent and at fault. If you have been injured in a Florida pedestrian accident or car accident with an emergency vehicle, your case will also be more complex. If your are injured by an emergency vehicle while the vehicle is trying to get to an emergency, you will face additional challenges because these vehicles are given additional latitude. You may need to prove serious negligence in these cases – such as proving that the emergency vehicle did not correctly use sirens and emergency lights at the time of the accident. Again, an experienced Florida personal injury attorney may be invaluable in such cases.
If you have been involved in a Florida car accident with a government vehicle, you may also need to file an administrative claim with the government before pursuing your legal claim. There is a time limit on when you must do this. In most cases, you must file the administrative claim within 30-180 days of the accident. Failure to file the administrative claim in time can affect your ability to recover damages, so it is essential to contact a good attorney immediately after your accident.
If you have been in a Florida car accident with a government vehicle, do not delay – contact the experienced team at the Flaxman Law Group at once for a free, no-obligation consultation. The Flaxman Law Group has extensive experience helping car accident claimants in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead, Florida, as well as in surrounding South Florida communities. Contact the Flaxman Law Group today to find out how our experience may help you in your case.