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Government Agencies Usually Protected in Car Accident Claims

If you have been involved in an accident that somehow involves a negligent government agency or employee, you might find that there are some tough roadblocks to obtaining compensation that do not exist in other types of claims. There is a policy that exists in these cases known as governmental or sovereign tort immunity, which offers protection to government agencies and their employees. These entities must consent to lawsuits, a law in place to protect governments from paying out large sums of money funded by taxpayers.

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. For example, there is what’s known as a “vehicle liability exception.” In this scenario, the government might be held liable for its actions in automobile accidents involving government employees and vehicles. For instance, an accident involving a police car in a non-emergency situation may not be subject to the common restrictions against suing a government organization. But a police officer, fire fighter or ambulance driver responding to an emergency may be given immunity. 

Another exception is related to dangerous roadway conditions.  Roads that have sharp pavement drops, poorly marked construction zones, malfunctioning stop lights, and poor quality infrastructure that is partially responsible for car crashes may in fact be evidence that holds a municipality liable for injuries sustained by a driver.  An experienced personal injury attorney will hire an Accident Reconstructionist to rebut an unfounded defense.  Because the government is generally responsible for the upkeep of roadways, the agency in charge of a specific road may be held liable if the conditions of that road clearly caused an accident.

After a car accident you believe was partially or completely the fault of a government agency, contact the skilled New York personal injury lawyers at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson for legal guidance. 

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