Can a victim sue the driver of a government vehicle in Baker?

San Diego Car Crash

Baker, LA – Government employees often drive a number of different vehicles to do their jobs such as police cars, garbage trucks, fire trucks, and code enforcement cars. It is certainly possible that one of their drivers can cause an accident and be found at fault for various forms of property damage and injuries. In these situations, victims can retain their own attorney and try to bring a case against the local or state government agency that is responsible for any losses. 

Government liability

At various points in history, most jurisdictions used a doctrine called sovereign immunity to prevent lawsuits against the government by regular citizens. This doctrine was gradually abolished or replaced, but there are still strict rules that dictate how and when the government can be sued. Many of these rules are contained in law called the Louisiana Governmental Claims Act. This law outlines various procedures for situations where a person needs to sue the state or local governments within Louisiana, and whether they are allowed to do so.  

Claims against the government

The state’s tort claim act establishes that the government does not have absolute immunity from lawsuits. It explains that any negligence caused by the government employee in question, even for car accidents, must have happened within the normal scope of their employment. The time limit and statute of limitations for the claim reflects the same statute of limitations as the same time of action brought against a non-government actor. Any kind of policy decisions are also exempt from the ability to bring a lawsuit under the act, as government officials cannot be made to pay out damages due to decisions made in their official capacity. 

Aside from motor vehicle accident cases, negligently maintained government property is another common type of claim that can be brought under this act. 

Damage caps

There are limitations on the amount of money that a plaintiff can actually collect from suing the government. This prevents state taxpayers from being financially responsible for paying out very large judgments and compromising the government’s ability to function. There is an absolute limit of $500,000 on wrongful death and personal injury claims. While this may seem like a lot, it is possible that a life changing injury will require millions of dollars worth of treatment and long term care over the course of the victim’s life. 

Assistance with an accident lawsuit in Louisiana

Attorneys in Baker are available to assist with various personal injury matters. Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a respected law firm that deals with the process of filing a civil case and receiving compensation on a client’s behalf through a settlement or lawsuit. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806