When you get into an accident, you can't control the type of vehicle you get into an accident with. If you collided with a government-owned vehicle, such as a police car, mail truck, or even a garbage truck, the process of litigation is a little different than when you get into an accident with a passenger vehicle.
Thing #1: Tort Claims Protect the Government in Most States
In most states, government vehicles are protected under different laws than personal vehicles or commercial vehicles. Tort claims protect government employees who are involved in incidents from personal injury lawsuits. However, there are exceptions to tort rules.
Generally, tort rules have exceptions for things such as car accidents. In most states, you can sue a government employee if they cause an accident, but you can't sue a government employee for something that happens when they are doing the course of their job.
When you get into an accident with a government vehicle, you are going to want to work with an a personal injury attorney.
Thing #2: Understand Who You Need to Sue
Second, in most states, you can't directly sue the government employee who caused the accident. Instead, you will have to sue the state or the subdivision that the employee works for. For example, if a police cruiser hits your vehicle, you would have to pursue a lawsuit against the police department, not the individual that caused the accident.
Thing #3: Damages Are Limited
When you are involved in an accident with a government vehicle, the damages that you can pursue are usually a little more limited than they are with a typical personal injury case. You often can't seek punitive damages, and generally damages are capped, so you can't sue for an unreasonable amount of money.
Thing #4: Need an Attorney to Assist You
Dealing with the aftermath of any car accident can be complicated, and even more so if you get into an accident with a government vehicle, such as a mail truck, city bus, or emergency response vehicle. The rules around compensation and lawsuits are different when a government vehicle and employee.
If you get into an accident with a government vehicle, you need to make sure that you contact an attorney right away. An attorney will be able to let you know if there are any tort claim acts in place that will restrict your right to pursue a lawsuit, and they will help you navigate around them to get the compensation you need for your injuries.