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Could a Government Entity be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

road with potholes on the sideIf you were injured in a crash on a road maintained by a government entity or injured in a crash with a government-owned vehicle, you may have the basis for a claim against the government.

However, these claims can quickly become very complicated, which is why you should strongly consider meeting with a lawyer.

Road Conditions That Could Cause a Crash

If hazardous roadway conditions caused your car accident, you may be able to file a claim against the government entity or privately contracted business responsible for the roadway.

Hazardous conditions that may increase the risk of a car crash include:

  • Line-of-sight obstructions
  • Roadside hazards
  • Pavement edge drop-offs
  • Improperly marked construction zones
  • Dangerous rail-highway grade crossings

Government Vehicles That May be Involved in a Collision

When a government vehicle is involved in an accident and the driver is at fault, you may be able to make a claim for damages against the government entity responsible for the vehicle.

Types of government vehicles that may be involved in a car accident include:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) vehicles
  • City buses
  • School buses
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Snowplows
  • Mail trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Government employee vehicles

You may be able to file a claim if the vehicle’s driver was negligent and acting in an official capacity for the government at the time of the crash.

Process of Filing a Claim in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you must provide written notice of your claim to the government entity within six months of the accident, otherwise your claim will likely be dismissed.

The notice must include the following:

  • Your name and address
  • The date, time and location the accident occurred
  • Name and address (office or residential) of any attending physician

If you are mentally incapacitated or disabled, the first 90 days or incapacitation or disability will not count against the six-month clock. Once those 90 days pass, the six-month clock will begin running again.

If the government entity admits fault, damages against Pennsylvania governments are capped at $250,000 to a single claimant and $1 million for a single incident.

For claims against the U.S. government, notice must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. You must also give facts that support your claim to allow the government to investigate the incident, including a dollar amount of the damages you suffered. This includes the total of your medical bills and vehicle damage repairs.

Contact Our Experienced Lawyers for Assistance

Filing a claim against a government entity can be quite complicated. The Harrisburg car accident lawyers of Schmidt Kramer are well-versed in the laws on these types of claims and are prepared to work to secure maximum compensation.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today and find out if you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We do not charge any fees up front, and you only pay us if we successfully recover compensation for your claim.

Call (717) 888-8888 or complete our Free Case Review form.