All manner of vehicles are involved in accidents, from semi-trucks to family minivans, but when a government vehicle is the cause, you need a Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorney to handle this special case. Usually, when you are in a car accident, a determination about which driver was negligent will be made and that driver will be held responsible for damages caused in the accident. However, with government vehicles, it is likely not as simple as charging the negligent driver and receiving compensation.
Why Do I Need a Denver Government Delivery Vehicle Accident Attorney?
In the state of Colorado, the government can claim sovereign immunity under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). This act affords the government certain protections that are not available to average citizens when it comes to personal injury claims. On the surface, this may seem completely unfair, but the government rationalizes this by contending that a large number of personal injury claims would be an undue financial burden on the taxpayer. The immunity granted to the government in these cases can be pretty far reaching, but it is not total. An expert Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorney can make all the difference between whether you get compensation for your injuries, or you hit the brick wall of governmental immunity. Let’s look at some situations in which you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the government.
Personal Injury Claims Against the Government Can Be More Difficult to Prove
For example, let’s say that you are involved in an accident with a USPS driver. In this case, the government entity that owns the vehicle will be taking responsibility for the damages instead of the driver himself or herself. Additionally, there are filing requirements that may not exist for normal personal injury claims. Any claim submitted due to an accident with a government vehicle must be filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act and as such, there are a number of issues that must be taken into account as these claims are subject to certain restrictions.
Furthermore, you can avoid going to court altogether if you are able to agree to a settlement with a U.S. attorney. However, if no settlement is reached, you can proceed with filing your lawsuit. For these reasons and more, it is advisable that you hire a Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorney. Their knowledge and expertise will be of invaluable benefit to you as you move forward with your case.
Colorado Requires You to Prove Negligence
When you file a personal injury claim in Denver, you will be required to prove the other driver was at fault, usually through negligence. Legally, this means you are attempting to prove that the negligent driver breached a duty of care owed to you and that breach was the cause of your injuries. A jury will have to consider whether a reasonable person would have acted similarly to the defendant in similar circumstances.
When it comes to an accident with a government delivery vehicle, this rule still applies but it applies under the umbrella of sovereign immunity. The government’s sovereign immunity for motor vehicle injuries can be waived in circumstances such as:
· A dangerous condition of a public highway, road or street
· Operation of a motor vehicle that is owned or leased by a public entity by a public employee (while on the job)
· Failure to perform a background check on the necessary education of the government employee before commencing employment
On the surface, it may seem as though these definitions are rather broad and that clearly, if a government employee is driving the vehicle that hits you, the government is liable for damages. This is only part of the story, however, as there may be edge cases that fall just outside the purview of the statutes listed above. For instance, it is crucial that the employee be actively on the job when the accident occurs if you are to have any possibility of success in your claim against a government agency. Many government employees use their personal vehicles to make deliveries and if they cause an accident while they are “off-the-clock,” the employee may be liable but not the government. Our qualified and knowledgeable Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorneys can talk you through how these circumstances relate to your situation and how we can help. Why not contact us for a free consultation today?
Statute of Limitations
As with most court cases, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Under Colorado law, that statute of limitations is usually set at 2 years from the date of the accident or the date of discovery of the injury. However, when the government is involved the statute of limitations is set at just 182 days. Therefore, preparing and filing your claim in a timely manner is paramount to your success. You will need to submit a written notice stating things such as:
· The date, time and place of the accident
· A detailed description of the injury you have suffered
· The name and address of the government employee you are claiming against
· A dollar amount of compensation you require for your injuries
Limits on Compensation from the Government
If you’re hoping to win a huge payout because your case is against the government, you might want to rein in your thinking a little bit. There are legal limits set on the amount of compensation that can be awarded to personal injury victims. As of 2018, the limit is set at $350,000 for a single incident, however, your Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorney can go over this with you in more detail. Your specific situation will likely have more nuance than can be covered here.
Hire a Denver Government Delivery Vehicle Accident Attorney Today!
If you have been injured in an accident with a vehicle owned by the government, contact one of our Denver government delivery vehicle accident attorneys today! We offer free consultations to help you flush out the specifics of your situation and make sure that we can get you the most that you are entitled to. Why wait any longer? Call today!