New Jersey Government Vehicle Crash Attorneys
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Accident with a New Jersey State or City Government Vehicle
If your vehicle was hit by a government vehicle or employee, it becomes a whole lot harder to file a personal injury claim for your injuries and property damage.
Federal, state, and local governments are protected under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This doctrine establishes the rules for when and how you may sue the government. Basically, the government must waive its immunity before you have the right to file your lawsuit.
However, New Jersey has enacted state legislation granting exceptions to this immunity for certain claims against state and municipal government agencies. The laws enacting these waivers contain strictly enforced procedural rules, deadlines, and other requirements that must be satisfied. If you do not comply with all of these requirements, you will lose the right to hold the government responsible for your injuries and losses. That’s where a New Jersey government vehicle accident attorney comes in.
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we have handled these cases and know what it takes to reach a successful conclusion. For a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney, please call us at (609) 240-0040.
The New Jersey Tort Claims Act
A tort is a civil wrong or wrongful act, intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another person. The New Jersey Tort Claims Act, or TCA, provides exceptions to sovereign immunity for people to file claims against the government if they are injured as a result of government negligence. Basically, you can sue a public entity whose employee is responsible for your injuries if you could have brought the same claim against a private citizen for the same behavior.
Before filing a lawsuit, you must send a tort claim notice to any public entity you hold responsible for your injuries and losses. (Certain municipalities may have their own required form of notice, so it’s important to have a lawyer check the requirements in your area.) The notice must include:
- Your name and address,
- The names of the public entity and its employee(s) involved in the accident,
- The date, time of day, and location of the accident,
- A description of the event(s) that caused your injuries,
- A description of the injuries you sustained,
- The amount you claim as of the date of your notice,
- The estimated amounts of prospective injuries, damages, or losses you anticipate, and
- The basis upon which your estimated amounts were calculated.
Time Limits for Filing Against a Government Entity
If you have a claim against the state, the county, a city, or a school district, you must provide your tort claim notice within ninety days of the date of your injury. After you have submitted your notice, the recipient has six months to review it. You cannot file a lawsuit until the expiration of the six-month period.
The State of New Jersey also sets deadlines for filing lawsuits, called statutes of limitations. You must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury. If you do not meet this deadline, you will be barred forever from receiving any compensation for your losses.
If the injury was caused while the employee was performing the regular duties required for his or her job, a lawsuit cannot be filed unless the employee’s actions were:
- Entirely disregarding the safety of others,
- Outside of the scope of his/her duties, or
- Criminal in nature.
Dealing with the aftermath of a government vehicle accident is confusing, complicated, and stressful. If you have been injured in an accident involving a government-owned vehicle, our attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., will work diligently to ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for all the losses you suffered. Please contact us at (609) 240-0040 for a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
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