Is a government-owned car any different than a regular car in an accident? It doesn’t matter where you are; car accidents can happen anytime. For most of the car accidents in Atlanta, the claim is resolved through a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Sometimes, you have to go to court and prove gross negligence on the driver’s part. However, most people get confused when involved in a car accident caused by a driver inside a government-owned vehicle.
It’s not uncommon to get in a car accident with a government car. A worker employed by the city, state, colleges, universities, county, or even the federal government can drive negligently. Sometimes, their negligent driving causes a car accident like other drivers. However, the rules are different when you collide with a government-owned car. In this article, our Atlanta car accident lawyers will walk you through what to expect if a government-owned car hits you.
Atlanta Car Accident With Government-Owned Cars
Most people don’t know this, but handling claims against a government agency is different from the typical process. One point where the difference is apparent is the shorter statute of limitation. It is the most glaring difference between filing a traditional claim and filing against a government agency. There are many government agencies in Atlanta, and each comes with procedural differences.
The statute of limitation for car accidents in Atlanta is usually two years. However, the case is entirely different when you’re filing against a government agency. According to the 2010 Georgia Code Title 36 — Local Government Provisions — Provisions Applicable to Counties Only Chapter 11 § 36-11-1, you only have 12 months from the accident day to file an administrative claim. If the government agency refuses your claim at first, you can always file another within 12 months. When filing a lawsuit against a municipality, Georgia laws state that you have to send a notice to them within six months of the accident.
Who Will You File Against?
Car accidents in Atlanta with a government-owned car must follow the state’s law. Georgia has several sovereign immunities that could prevent its employees and agencies from facing lawsuits. However, the Georgia Tort Claims Act states several exceptions for filing a claim against government employees and agencies. One of those exceptions is when the accident is due to the government employee’s negligence.
However, unlike traditional car accident cases where you pursue the negligence case against the driver, government car accident cases are different. The Tort Claims Act clarifies that the negligent employee’s agency will be named the defendant and not the driver. Also, there are recovery limits to each lawsuit. The range of recovery is from $1,000,000 for each person to $3,000,000 for the accident in total.
What About Car Accidents in Atlanta With Federal Vehicles
The rules are also different when the accident isn’t with a local government agency-owned car but with a federal vehicle. The Georgia Tort Claims Act no longer applies in this case. Instead, such an accident is subject to the Federal Tort Claim Act. This law also limits how you can sue the government, limiting it to when the employee is proven negligent. This gets tricky when you’re trying to file a claim against someone driving an emergency vehicle like a fire truck or even a police vehicle.
To pursue a claim against a federal agency because of the negligent action of their employees, there are varying complex steps you will need to follow. This requires understanding the federal laws guiding making claims and the process involved. To simplify the process, you will need a skilled Atlanta car accident attorney that has experience with claims against federal agencies.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today!
If you were involved in a car accident with a government-owned vehicle, then you might want to pursue a negligence case against the car driver. While the claim details remain the same, the process for filing and receiving compensation is quite different. First, you will need to fill out a government form that alleges negligence on the government employee’s side. In such a scenario, the best step to take is speaking with a skilled car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Our experienced car accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm have the skills, knowledge, and resources you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. In addition, our attorneys will carefully guide you through all the processes to ensure you don’t miss out on the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free case review. We work on a contingency fee basis and will demand no upfront fee.