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Government Vehicle Accidents



Hurt in a Crash with a Government Vehicle? There Are Special  Rules and Regulations You Must Know

After getting into an accident with another driver, there are certain steps you need to take, whether or not you are seriously injured. These steps include exchanging your insurance and contact information so one or the other can initiate a claim – depending on who is at fault for the accident – and oftentimes calling 911 so the police can complete an accident report while the EMTs address any urgent medical needs. Depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries sustained, some people may end up going to the hospital to get emergency care for their injuries.

What happens when you get into a car accident with a government vehicle in Fort Lauderdale? Who pays for the damages? Where do you file a claim? And most importantly, how likely is it that you will get the money you actually deserve once you do file an accident claim with a federal, state, or local government? At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Florida government vehicle accident lawyers have deep experience handling these cases. We will help you fight for justice. Contact us today to set a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a government vehicle accident attorney.


Know Your Rights After a Crash With a Government Vehicle

Crashes happen every day. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) reports that 401,540 collisions were reported in the state in 2021 alone. Government vehicles are involved in a significant number of accidents. Here are four key things to know about your rights if you were involved in an accident with a government vehicle:

  • You have a right to report the accident to law enforcement
  • You have a right to take pictures and document the crash
  • You have a right to hold a government employee (and their government employer) accountable
  • You have a right to bring a claim and seek compensation for your damages.


The Steps to Take After a Government Vehicle Collision in Florida

Government vehicle accident claims are complicated. It is especially important that you take proactive steps to protect your best interests. Among other things, you should:

  • See a Doctor as Soon as Possible: If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, seek medical attention immediately. It is a step that is not only for your health and well-being but also to document any injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
  • Ensure the Government Vehicle Crash is Reported: Report the accident: Report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or the agency responsible for the government vehicle involved in the accident.
  • Document as Much Evidence as Possible: Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and the government vehicle, as well as any other relevant details. The more you have, the better off you will be.  
  • Get Professional Legal Help (Right Away): personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale experienced in personal injury and government liability cases to understand your legal options and help you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to.

Who Pays for Damages After an Accident With a Government Vehicle?

In a normal accident, you would simply file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and go through a standard claims process with an adjuster and the help of your car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale; however, when you are in an accident with a government vehicle, whether local, state, or federal, you will be seeking compensation directly from them. For accidents with Federal vehicles, your rights are addressed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In any situations outside of the FTCA, we will be happy to explain your rights depending on your municipality or the specific state laws applicable to your accident. State and local government vehicle accident claims generally fall under Florida Statutes § 768.28.

Recovering Financial Compensation for a Government Vehicle Accident Claim in Florida

In addition to the complexities of trying to recover compensation from a government entity, there is still the most important question to be answered: how much are you owed? In a personal injury claim, we would be able to seek comprehensive compensatory damages covering both economic and non-economic damages. We will work to build this same collection of damages in our submission to the government agency. If it is denied, we will then move forward with filing a lawsuit against the agency using the proper procedures set forth in the rules dictating this process depending on the agency that we are seeking compensation against. You may be able to recover for:

  • Economic Damages: Economic damages include all of your measurable financial impacts stemming from this accident, such as your medical bills and lost wages.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and other emotional impacts that do not have dollar values but are equally important to your case.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.

An Overview of Different Types of Government Vehicles that May Be Involved in a Collision

Government vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, and any of them may be involved in a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian. Some of the different types of government vehicles that may be involved in an accident include:

  • Police cars
  • Fire trucks
  • Ambulances
  • Public transportation buses
  • Garbage trucks
  • Postal service vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Government fleet cars

Most Common Injuries Caused By Government Drivers

While most car crash injuries are thankfully minor or moderate, there are also many others that are severe or even life-threatening. Large or fast-moving government vehicles can be especially hazardous. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by government drivers:

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim Against the Government?

In Florida, there is a four-year statute of limitations for motor vehicle collisions (Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a)). Although this standard technically also applies to government vehicle accident claims, there are specialized rules and regulations in place that, in practice, give injured victims less time to take action. In effect, you have to “notify” the government of your intent to sue. In Florida, the Notice of Intent should be submitted to the responsible agency and the state’s Department of Financial Services. Make sure your notice is submitted as soon as possible after an accident. Be proactive. Our attorneys will make sure that you comply with all relevant deadlines.

The Process of Filing a Claim Against the Government in a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

Since you are seeking compensation from a government agency and not from an insurance company, you can expect the process to be more complicated since the government does not have a streamlined claims process with entire teams of adjusters and administrators dedicated to these processes. We will work directly with the government agency that is responsible for your damages in order to get you the money you rightfully deserve. Your injuries and the measurable damages you have suffered come with clear dollar values, and we will negotiate directly with the government agency on your behalf.

How Can BK Law Firm Help Protect Your Rights in a Government Vehicle Accident Claims Case?

You deserve to focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track without having to be burdened by the stress of a personal injury claim. Whether you are working with a private citizen’s insurance company, are trying to recover compensation from the United States federal government, or bringing a claim against a state or local government entity, the reality is the same: the responsible party (and the entity paying for their actions) does not want to pay you what you actually deserve, and it will require major action to get the money you are entitled to. At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Fort Lauderdale government vehicle accident lawyers are standing, ready to fight for real justice and real results. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation. With an office in Fort Lauderdale and offices in Miami, Fort Myers, and Jacksonville, we handle government vehicle accident claims throughout Florida.

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