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How Can A Government Body Be Liable For An Auto Accident?

by Stacy Dean

Although government agencies typically have immunity from accident lawsuits, there are situations in which a government body may be held liable for its role in an accident. Here are some of those cases.

Government Employee Causes an Accident

One of the most obvious ways in which a government may be liable for your accident is if the accident is caused by a government employee. If that's the case, you need to prove that the government employee was on the clock at the time of the accident. This is because you cannot sue the government for the negligent actions of its employees if the actions take place in the employees' private hours.

Government Improperly Designs a Road

Since the government is responsible for designing and constructing roads, you may also sue it if you can prove that a faulty road design or construction caused the accident. This may be the case even if the government had sub-contracted the work to an independent contractor. In such a case, however, the contractor may also be at least partially liable for the accident.

Government Improperly Maintains a Road

For roads that are maintained by the government, maintenance failure that leads to an accident may also trigger the government's liability. For example, potholes should be filled in time and debris from landslide should be cleared in time. Therefore, if any of these things cause your accident, you may have a claim against the relevant government body. In such cases, you will be required to prove that the government had ample time to conduct the required maintenance practices but failed to do so.

Government Doesn't Include Proper Signs

Lastly, you may also be able to hold the government liable for an accident caused by missing road/traffic sign or inadequate road signage. For example, if lane signs are absent, traffic lights aren't working, and stop/yield signs are missing, they may lead to accidents for which the government may be liable. Of course, in these cases too, you will need to prove that you the government knew of the problem signs, had ample time to solve them, but still failed to do so.

Auto accident claims against government bodies are different from those against private motorists. For example, there are tight deadlines within which you must make your claim as well as specific rules of notification. That is why you should consider using an auto accident lawyer like Teresa P Williams if your claim is against the government.