Citizens of the United States have many rights enshrined in and protected by law. Amongst these is the right to seek justice from those who do you harm, including the government itself. However, the government has also put in place many forms of protection from liability to ensure that its work isn’t hindered by unjust suits.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the actions or negligence of a government entity, then you deserve the right to seek compensation for your losses. Unfortunately, making a successful case against a government entity is often especially difficult due to questions of immunity and liability.
Today, your local Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will describe how the government can be held liable for a car accident.
Before we lay out how government entities can be held liable for car accidents, it’s worth explaining how liability is determined, in general. While these components are more often used to prove liability in car accidents caused by private citizens, they can shed some light on how government agencies can be held liable as well:
- The at-fault party had a duty to act responsibly.
- The at-fault party failed in their duty.
- The at-fault party’s failure directly caused the victim’s losses.
Accidents Involving Government Vehicles
In accidents involving government vehicles, the process for seeking relief is similar to that used in cases involving commercial vehicles. In both situations, if the driver is acting within the bounds of their employment when they cause an accident, then usually the agency or company will be held liable, rather than the employee driving the at-fault vehicle.
This means that, if a government vehicle illegally drives through a red light and strikes your car, then you should be able to seek compensation for any damages you sustained.
Accidents Due to Poor Road Maintenance
While accidents involving government vehicles are likely to be as complicated as any other accident, accidents caused by poor road conditions or roadway maintenance can be especially complex. Examples of poor road maintenance that could lead to an accident include the following:
- Missing guardrails
- Faulty road design
- Poor signage
- Debris in the road
While each of these circumstances could cause a crash, proving that a government agency should have prevented those circumstances is much more difficult. First, you will need to determine what government body should have been responsible for rectifying whatever condition caused your crash.
Then, you must show that the entity had sufficient warning to address the situation and failed to do so. This might mean showing that a particular danger, such as driving through an obscured stop sign or a particularly eroded stretch of road, has existed for sufficient time to be recognized and rectified. This is arguably the most difficult step in the process of holding a government entity liable for a car accident.
Finally, you must prove that it was this dangerous condition that caused your crash in order to be eligible for compensation.
Each of these steps is likely to involve extensive documentation and red tape. A dedicated car accident attorney can help you gather all of the evidence and paperwork you may need.
Seeking Justice From Government Agencies With Houston Car Accident Attorneys
If a negligent, reckless, or corrupt government agency or official caused your car accident, you may be facing an uphill battle when it comes to getting the relief that you need. Proving your right to compensation may not be easy, but you don’t have to do it alone.
If you’ve been involved in a government-caused auto accident, the Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns would be honored to stand behind you while you fight for your rights to compensation. We will work tirelessly to prove your claim and get you the relief you need.