What should I do if I’ve been hurt in a car accident involving a government vehicle?

Generally, states enjoy what is known as “sovereign immunity,” which means that they cannot be sued. However, the federal government, Alaska, and local municipalities have made exceptions to this general legal doctrine to allow people who have been hurt in car accidents and other specific situations to recover damages.

The injuries that you suffer in a car crash with a government vehicle may be the same as you would suffer in any motor vehicle accident, but the rules for your recovery may be different. Accordingly, it is important to know what rules apply and how you can protect your right to a fair recovery.

Get the Information You Need Before You File a Claim

You have the right to sue the United States of America, the State of Alaska, the City of Anchorage, or another municipality if you are hurt in a car crash because of a negligent government employee. However, if the defendant is a government entity, then it is important to know that:

  • Your time frame for providing notice of your claim to the defendant may be shorter than it otherwise would be pursuant to the applicable statute of limitations.
  • Your damages may be capped and you may be prevented from pursuing punitive damages. For example, currently, personal injury claims against the State of Alaska are capped at $400,000 and punitive damages are not allowed.

Special laws such as the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Alaska Tort Claims Act may apply.

Get Legal Help Sooner Rather Than Later

Since your time to file notice of your claim may be short, it is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You can expect that the government defendant will be well represented by counsel. You deserve the same benefit. For more information about protecting your rights and getting the fair recovery that you deserve form the government, please start a live chat or call Attorney Ben Crittenden today.