Texas is a big and beautiful state, but it’s also a frequent accident site. In fact, the Road Safety Insurance Institute reports that Texas has the second deadliest accidents of any state with 3,294 in 2019, only after California.
Government vehicles are a common cause of accidents. Government employees are human too and fall just as often as anyone else.
Work zone accidents are common – recent data reports that there were over 26,000 work zone accidents in Texas in 2019.
If you’ve had a government vehicle accident in Texas, read this article to understand how government vehicle accidents happen, how to prove liability, and what to do while in one. Then, contact a Fort Worth personal injury attorney to make the best decision about what to do next.
What is considered a government vehicle in Texas?
In Texas, many vehicles can be considered government vehicles. Vehicles may register for this license if they: “Are owned by and solely serving: (A) the United States; (B) this state; (C) a county, parish, or school district in that state; or (D) an open enrollment charter school; ”
Other vehicles that could be considered government vehicles include:
- School buses were used to transport them to public schools
- Fire engines and other vehicles used in fire fighting
- Police cars
- Marines, Coast Guard vehicles, etc.
When a vehicle is used solely for the purpose of serving the state and / or federal government, it is considered a government vehicle. The driver of a government vehicle is subject to all laws governing government accidents. The government takes responsibility for its drivers and usually pays for damages that they cost ordinary citizens.
What to do after an accident near Fort Worth, Texas?
An accident can cause fear and confusion. If you’ve had an accident and are not sure what to do next, do the following:
- Keep calm and get off the road if you can.
- Call the ambulance to help you and others with injuries.
- Call the police to file an official accident report.
- Obtain testimony.
- Exchange contact information with witnesses and the other party involved in the accident.
- Contact a personal injury attorney to walk you through the process of proving liability and government compensation.
If you have been treated for your injuries, keep an extensive record of your injuries, any loss of income due to disability, and other things that you may have suffered as a result of your accident.
You need these records to follow up on each case, be it for settlement or in court. You are required to demonstrate injury and the state driver’s obligation to obtain compensation for your car accident.
Understanding Liability in the Event of a Texas Government Vehicle Accident
Under the Federal Tort Act, “Individuals who are injured or whose property is damaged by the illegal or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the course of official duties may apply to the government for reimbursement for that violation or damage. ”
There are a few things you need to prove before you can claim a refund. You have to prove that:
- You were injured or a federal employee damaged your property
- The employee acted in his official duties
- The employee acted negligently
- The employee’s negligence or wrongdoing caused the injury you suffered
In this case, the government acts as an insurer, which means that it pays for any damage suffered.
Texas law puts it this way: “A government entity in the state is liable for:
- Property damage, personal injury and death caused in the immediate vicinity by the illegal act or omission or the negligence of an employee acting in his area of employment if:
- Property damage, personal injury, or death is caused by operating or using an engine-powered vehicle or equipment. and
- The employee would be personally liable to the applicant under Texas law. and
- Personal injury and death caused by any condition or use of tangible personal or real property when the government entity, if a private individual, is liable to the applicant under Texas law. ”
Some government agencies may also purchase civil liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. You should therefore always speak to an attorney to understand the exact circumstances of your case.
Filing a lawsuit against the government can be a complicated and confusing process. After suffering the pain and devastation of an accident, you shouldn’t have to endure the stress of litigation.
If you’ve been hit by a government vehicle and need to file a lawsuit, call the Patterson Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys today for answers to all your questions. We will help you clear up the legal issues and live your life the way it should be again.