No one is invincible when it comes to car accidents. They can happen to anyone at any time. When those accidents involve a state or even federal employee in a government-owned vehicle, it can cause some complexity to the situation.
It can be difficult to sue the government; however, if you have been seriously injured in an auto accident that involved a government-owned vehicle, it may be possible for you to file a claim and pursue compensation. This is due to exceptions in government immunity laws. Let a Raleigh car accident attorney protect your rights.
What Are Government Owned Vehicles?
You may not be aware that you interact with vehicles owned by the local, state, and federal governments every day. Government owned vehicles can look like:
Emergency response vehicles – police cars, fire engines, ambulances, etc.
City or school busses
Government semi trucks and tractor trailers
State Department of Transportation vehicles like subways
Municipal or city snowplows
An accident that involves any one of these vehicles owned by the government is litigated a little differently from other auto accidents.
The North Carolina Tort Claims Act
Under this act, the state waives its sovereign immunity by allowing itself to be sued if a state officer, employee, or agent negligently causes harm while acting within the realm of their duties. In other words, those involved and injured in an auto accident that involves a government vehicle can pursue a lawsuit.
Claims That Can Be Pursued In North Carolina
Overall, any government employee who is acting within their realm of duties cannot be held liable for their actions. However, it is when the employee acts in a negligent manner where victims can file a claim. The most common types of cases Nagle & Associates see against the government are
Automobile accident claims that involve government owned vehicles
Consult with a Nagle & Associates attorney on what damages can be sought and if damage caps apply. In some situations the North Carolina government is immune from liability so be sure to speak with an attorney if you have any questions.
Fault or Negligence?
Determining whether fault or negligence is the focus of the accident can be difficult. An attorney will explain to you the legal process and whether or not the state operates under a principle called comparative fault. This concept allows for a victim to still recover damages even if they are partially at fault for injuries. Juries will have the final say in the percentage of fault for both parties involved in the accident.
The concept of comparative fault does not strictly apply to claims against the government though. Cases involving the North Carolina government or political subdivisions are covered by contributory negligence. This principle states that even if a victim is partially at fault, they cannot recover damages.
File A Claim Against The Government
In order to effectively file a claim against the government you must file a notice of tort claim, wait for the government to deny the claim and then file a lawsuit. To better understand how the NC Tort Claims Act applies to your claim, speak with a Nagle & Associates, P.A., attorney.
Call a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
The North Carolina car accident attorneys at Nagle & Associates, P.A., will fight to secure compensation on your behalf. Don’t wait for the right time to call us, do it now. You don’t want to miss your window of opportunity to rightfully receive compensation for your injuries. Call our office at (866) 631-2228 to schedule a free initial consultation today.