Seeking compensation for damages after a crash with a government vehicle is different from seeking compensation after an “ordinary” accident. This is because special laws govern claims against government agencies.
More specifically, there are unique timelines and procedures for filing claims against government entities. As a result, following an accident involving a government vehicle, it is especially important that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
5 Steps Involved in Filing a Claim Against the Government
Below is an overview of the five key steps involved in filing a claim against the government following a car, truck or SUV accident:
1. Seek Treatment for Your Injuries
Like any accident, after an accident involving a government vehicle, you should seek treatment for your injuries right away. This is extremely important to make sure you can heal as fully and quickly as possible. It is also important for your claim against the government, as you will need medical records that link your injuries to the collision.
2. Gather All Available Information
Once you obtain medical treatment, you should gather all the information you have. This includes information you have from the scene of the accident as well as your healthcare provider. For example, many people will have details and records such as:
- Cellphone photos from the scene of the accident
- The government vehicle’s make, model, and license plate
- The government vehicle’s insurance information
- Names and phone numbers of any witnesses
- A copy of the police report
- X-rays, prescriptions and medical bills
3. Speak with a New Jersey Accident Attorney
As soon as possible, you should speak with an attorney. Your attorney can guide you through the recovery process, and he or she can file your claim against the government for you. Your attorney can also accurately calculate your losses and help you seek the full compensation you deserve.
4. Determine Which Government Agency is Responsible
Another step your attorney can take for you is determining which government agency is responsible for your injuries. This is important because different deadlines apply under New Jersey and federal law. You also need to make sure you file your claim with the right agency.
5. File a “Notice of Claim” By the Deadline
Once your attorney determines which agency is responsible, he or she can file a “notice of claim.” Unlike filing an insurance claim, you must make a formal filing to begin your claim against the government.
If your accident involved a New Jersey government vehicle, you only have 90 days to file your notice of claim. If your accident involved a federal government vehicle, you have two years to file. However, regardless of the circumstances involved, it is important to get started on your claim as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Accident Attorney 24/7
Were you involved in a car, truck or SUV accident involving a government vehicle? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly to discuss your claim. Call 877-435-6371 or contact us online 24/7 for a free consultation.