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A Government Vehicle Hit Me: What Should I Know?

Posted on: December 30, 2016 by Edwards & Patterson Law

government vehicle

If you have been involved in an accident with a government vehicle, knowing the ins and outs of liability can help you sort out some of the confusion that may surround your case. When someone is injured in an accident in the State of Oklahoma, the law allows them to file suit against the responsible party. In most cases, that means the driver of the other vehicle. As Oklahoma is a tort liability jurisdiction, you have that right to pursue damages against an at-fault driver.

If the other driver is operating a commercial vehicle, it is also possible to sue the employer under certain circumstances as well as the driver. If the owner of the vehicle can be shown to have been negligent (improper maintenance, inadequate driver training or hiring practices, for instance), they can be held liable.

Accidents Involving Government Vehicles

In the case of government agencies, the laws work differently. Government entities are often protected by government immunity. This is not to say that you cannot file a suit against a government agency. It is possible, although difficult, and requires following a different set of guidelines than a typical personal injury case. Accidents that involve government vehicles are not governed by local jurisdictions, but instead by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

Under the FTCA, a person who has been injured or property damaged by a government employee has a strict burden of proof. It must be shown that:

  • the injury or damage was caused by the government employee;
  • that employee was operating within his or her normal duties;
  • they were acting negligently;
  • and such negligence was the cause of the injury/property damage.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a government vehicle, you will need the help of a personal injury attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of applicable laws, required procedures, claim forms and other considerations needed to successfully file suit on your behalf.

At Edwards & Patterson, you have an advocate who will fight to get compensation for your loss and suffering. Call us today to schedule a consultation and let us fight for you.

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