Federal, state, and local governments all need trucks to do the business of the government. At any given time, you may be on the road with mail trucks, construction trucks, snow plows, dump trucks, garbage trucks, tractor trailers, or other trucks. Just as with any other type of truck, an accident may occur if the trucker is negligent, if the trucker’s employer is negligent, or if there is a defect with the truck.
However, unlike other truck accidents, this time you need to pursue a legal claim against a government entity.
Some Rules Are Different When Your Claim is Against the Government
Generally, the government is protected from lawsuits by a legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity prevents individuals from suing the government, unless there is a specific exception to the general rule protecting the government from such lawsuits. Like most legal doctrines, however, there are exceptions to this rule, and truck accidents are typically such an exception.
The Federal Tort Claims Act, for example, generally allows you to sue the United States government if you would be able to sue a private person for the accident that occurred. This means that if you would have a valid legal claim against a private trucker, trucking company, or maintenance company under the same circumstances then you may have such a claim against the government. Similar rules apply to state and local governments.
Assuming that you have the right to pursue a legal claim against the government after a truck wreck, it is important to know that special rules may apply. For example, you may be required to provide notice of your intent to pursue legal action in a shorter amount of time than the usual statute of limitations. In some cases, the standard of proof may also be different when your claim is against a government entity. This is especially common when your claim is against an emergency vehicle such as a fire truck.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Since the rules for pursuing a legal action against the government are different than they would be in a lawsuit against a private defendant, it is important to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney for help after this type of truck accident. For more information, and to schedule your free and confidential consultation, contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678.