Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming on its own. If your accident involves a city or state government-owned, taking legal action can be even more daunting. Many people think that if they hit or get hit by a city or state owned vehicle, they have no grounds for legal action. However, if you were in an accident with a police car, trash truck, or another government-owned vehicle, you do have options. Here are five tips for how you should proceed after an accident involving a state or city vehicle.
- Be sure to get a police report. Car crashes usually involve the police at some point. A police report can be helpful to your case because it includes details of your crash such as the parties in the crash, the names and contact information of those involved in the crash, and a brief description by police of events surrounding the accident. Keep in mind that obtaining a police report costs a fee. However, a police report is extremely valuable to your case. Another note: the police will still give you a police report even if you hit a cop car.
- It is also important to determine that the other party is the government, and not a private party. Even if a vehicle is state-subsidized or state-funded, many entities that sound like government-entities are actually private. If you are not sure if the trash truck involved in your accident is affiliated with the city or was privately owned, consult your attorney.
- Next, be sure to find the appropriate agency. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what part of the government the vehicle belongs to. However, locating the correct government agency is imperative if you would like to take legal action. To do this, it may be necessary to contact the other driver involved in the accident. This shouldn’t be difficult as long as you made sure to exchange information at the scene of the accident.
- It is also necessary to file a government claim for damages. Before you can sue in civil court, you will need to file an administrative claim with the government, even if you have a righteous claim against the city or state for damages. When you file an administrative claim, the claim goes directly to the city or state government’s legal teams. Next, the legal team will evaluate your claim for damage or injury. The government has several months to either settle or reject your claim. If they do reject your claim, you can sue.
- Finally, it’s important that you get organized. When dealing with the government, you need to be as organized as possible. This means getting all of your photos, papers, documents, and bills in order. If you are efficiently organized, there is less of a risk that your claim will be thrown out or not taken seriously. For more help with your car accident claims, seek advice from a car accident attorney.