If you were injured in an accident involving a Hampton Roads Transit bus or other government vehicle, it is essential to understand what your rights are, as well as the process that must be adhered to in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Accident claims involving government vehicles can be more complex than other types of claims and often have a different legal process that must be followed. The following is a brief overview of some of the factors involved in these types of accidents. For more detailed information about your particular situation, contact one of our Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and well-being should be the top priority. If you have been involved in any type of accident with a city bus or other government vehicle, seek immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident. Even if you do not have visible injuries, it is advisable to undergo a thorough medical evaluation to document any potential underlying injuries.
Document the Incident
Gather as much information as possible about the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle and any visible injuries. Obtain the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident occur. This evidence will be valuable when filing a claim.
Report the Accident
Contact the appropriate authorities to report the accident. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may involve notifying the local police department, transit agency, or other government entity responsible for the vehicle involved.
Consult with an Attorney
Due to the complexities involved in personal injury cases involving government entities, it is recommended that victims should consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these types of accident cases. Your attorney will know and understand the specific laws, regulations, and procedures that are involved with filing claims against a government agency.
Preserve any evidence related to the accident, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and photos. Make sure to keep track of any lost wages if you are unable to work while you recover from your injuries. Consider keeping a journal or diary that documents your day-to-day issues with pain and other issues your injuries are causing you. This evidence will be crucial for your attorney when building your case and proving liability.
Establishing liability in cases involving government vehicles can be challenging. Government entities are generally protected by immunity laws, but exceptions do exist. Your Hampton Roads accident attorney can determine if the government entity can be held liable for your injuries. Some of the most common factors associated with liability include bus driver negligence, failure to properly maintain the vehicle, and failure of the agency or department to provide appropriate training or supervision.
Notice Requirements and Deadlines
Be aware that claims against government entities often have specific notice requirements and deadlines that must be followed. These deadlines are very different from accident claims with private citizens or businesses. Failure to comply with these requirements can jeopardize your ability to seek compensation. Your attorney will ensure that all necessary notifications and paperwork are submitted as required.
Negotiate or Litigate
Depending on the response received from the agency, negotiations may be initiated to reach a settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may advise pursuing litigation and filing a lawsuit to seek compensation through the court system.
Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
Navigating a personal injury claim involving a city bus or government vehicle can be complex. Working with an experienced Virginia Beach accident attorney will help protect your rights, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages. To learn more, contact our office to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.