June 27, 2023 | Car Accident
The state of West Virginia has thousands of vehicles. Just about every government agency in this state uses vehicles in some way. This includes not only the obvious agencies, such as police departments and other first responders, but also other agencies, including utility companies, code enforcers, parks and recreation departments, and more.
Unfortunately, accidents involving these vehicles do occur, and victims must have a way to recover compensation. Here, we want to discuss how accidents with state government vehicles proceed come along with the routes possible for recovering compensation.
One of the first routes of recovery and compensation after any type of vehicle accident, including one with a government vehicle in West Virginia, will be the insurance claims process. All drivers must carry insurance in the state of West Virginia, and state vehicles also carry insurance. In fact, vehicle accidents involving state government vehicles are not uncommon. There are many state, county, and local municipal government vehicles on the roadway, all with insurance policies.
However, as with insurance claims involving non-government vehicles, the process of recovering compensation from an insurance carrier can be challenging. In fact, it is not uncommon for insurance carriers to put up a fight, delay the claim, or deny the claim altogether.
It may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the government agency or employee responsible for the incident. Traditionally, government employees and agencies have had immunity from these types of lawsuits, but individuals can file lawsuits in specific situations against government entities.
However, there are differences between filing a traditional personal injury lawsuit and filing an injury claim against a government entity. There are special guidelines for filing these claims, and failing to follow these guidelines could result in a dismissal of the case. Luckily, the time frame for filing a personal injury claim against a government entity in West Virginia is the same as the overall personal injury statute of limitations – two years from the date the injury occurs (some states have very short deadlines in place for filing claims against a government agency).
When filing a lawsuit against a government entity, there will need to be a Notice of Claim filed as well. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Martinsburg car accident lawyer who can walk you through this process and handle the filing of these claims. This can be complicated, but your lawyer will make sure that the claims process is completed correctly. The Notice of Claim must be mailed to every government entity or employee that caused the injuries. There is an additional waiting period associated with filing a lawsuit after the Notice is provided. Usually, an individual will need to wait a specific amount of time after filing the claim before they file a lawsuit.
There may be various types of compensation available to individuals harmed due to the actions of a government employee in West Virginia. After an accident with a state, county, or local municipal vehicle, individuals could recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and various types of pain and suffering losses. The total amount of compensation a person receives will vary depending on several factors. Some of these factors include the severity of the injuries, the length of the recovery time, insurance policy limitations, and whether or not there was any shared fault related to the incident.