It’s no fun having a car crash, especially when you are not at fault. It may be possible to claim medical expenses and any potential loss of earnings if you are able to prove negligence. Claiming compensation, even if you were not at fault, is somewhat more difficult when the fault lies with a government agency or a government employee.
However, it is not completely out of the question. You should contact a personal injury attorney after a crash and injury in which government property is involved. The attorney will advise you whether a claim is feasible and how to go about it in detail.
City and State Laws Regarding Government Personal Injury Claims
Theoretically, both the city and state have the same ages old right of English kings and queens to “sovereign immunity”. This idea of immunity has become modified over the years and now most governments allow citizens who have been hurt by their employees while the employees have been carrying out their duty to make a reasonable claim for compensation. The claim must be made within a more restricted time limit than an ordinary personal injury claim against a non-government party.
The first step in a claim is to make an initial “notice of claim.” The claim form, with instructions, can be found on the city’s own website, or the website of the state’s Department of Risk Management. The time limit is a generous two years from the date of the injury, but as in other personal injury cases it is best to submit the notice of claim together with as much supporting documentation as possible soon after the injury as possible.
The notice of claim is not in itself a personal injury claim but an advice to the government agency that this is being planned. In the majority of cases, the notice of claim will be rejected, which then allows you to file an official personal injury lawsuit against the relevant department responsible for your injury.
Possible Accident Scenarios Involving Government Property
Accidents are possible in any government office, parking lot, on sidewalks and on the streets, but car accidents are more or less restricted to the conditions on the streets. Road maintenance is the responsibility of the city and if the schedule is not kept up to date, then it is entirely possible that ruts, holes and defects in the surface of a city road may cause an accident. In this case, the city’s maintenance department is to blame.
Any one of the city’s fleet of government-owned vehicles could be involved in a collision with a private vehicle, although it is harder to obtain compensation if a vehicle owned by the government such as a police patrol car is responding to a genuine emergency when the collision happens. For example, if you were rear-ended in Nevada by a police officer acting carelessly, you might have a PI claim.
Collision With a City Bus
City buses may be involved in a collision at any time with a privately owned vehicle if the bus driver is not paying attention or has made a serious error of judgment regarding handling the bus. Distracted driving has become one of the more common causes of a bus accident as a result of the proliferation in cell phones and other forms of electronic communication.
Occasional accidents may not just be driver related. Accidents are possible if a bus is not maintained satisfactorily or defective parts are to blame.
How an Attorney Can Help You Win a Claim
You are advised to contact an experienced personal injury attorney before tackling a claim against any city entity. The consequences of not doing the right thing at any time during a claim against a city are too serious to ignore. You generally don’t get a second chance, so it makes sense to get it right first time round. The attorney can provide valuable legal advice based on experience and can negotiate with the city or state’s insurer on your behalf.
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the city of Las Vegas or the state government of Nevada, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.