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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Can I Sue the Government for My Car Accident?

Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents. In an at-fault state, you must prove that the other driver or another party caused the collision to recover compensation for injuries from that party. Therefore, if another driver caused the accident, you would sue that driver. If a defective car part caused the accident, you would sue the parts manufacturer. However, what happens when your car accident involves a government entity or agency? You call a Texas automobile accidents lawyer for help as quickly as possible!

Government Liability for Car Accidents in Texas

In some cases, a government agency or entity may be responsible for the cause of a car accident. Examples of situations in which a government entity may be liable for a vehicle accident include:

  • Potholes and large cracks in the road

  • Missing signs or ineffective signage

  • Malfunctioning or missing traffic signals

  • Defectively designed roads

  • Lack of or failure to perform maintenance

  • Missing or broken guardrails

  • Accidents involving government vehicles

Proving that a government entity is liable can be difficult because of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity protects the government from being sued for certain claims. Therefore, even if you prove liability, sovereign immunity may protect the government agency or entity from a lawsuit. Our experienced Texas car accident attorney can perform a free case review to determine if the facts in your case may constitute a claim against a local or state government agency.

The Texas Tort Claims Act

Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, individuals have the right to sue local and state government agencies for certain causes of actions. For car accident victims, the two causes of action that might give rise to a claim are:

  • Car accidents caused by dangerous conditions on property owned by the government; or,

  • Car accidents caused by the negligence of a government employee.

Even though you may sue the government for your car accident, the Texas Tort Claims Act limits the compensation you may receive for your car accident claim. The maximum compensation you may receive can vary depending on the agency involved. However, caps range from $100,000 to $250,000 per accident victim with a maximum compensation cap of $500,000 per accident.

You Must Act Quickly When the Government is Involved

There are several significant differences between filing an injury claim against a private party versus filing an injury claim against the government. One of the key differences is the requirement to file a notice of claim.

To protect your right to file a lawsuit against the government for a car crash, you must file a notice of intent to file pursuant to the Texas Tort Claims Act. Under the Act, you must file a notice with the appropriate government offices within six months after the date of the accident. The notice must contain specific information defined by statute.

However, some local governments may decrease the time to file the notice of claim to as short as 30 days from the date of the crash. Failing to file a notice of claim may prevent you from recovering compensation for your losses, damages, and injuries.

Call a Texas Car Accident Attorney for Help with Government Lawsuits

Filing a claim or lawsuit against the government for a car accident is a complex undertaking. You need to consult with a car accident attorney in Texas who understands the requirements for filing a lawsuit against the government for a car accident claim. Contact the team at the Tony Law Firm to learn more about your legal rights after an auto accident in Texas.


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