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Steps to Take After an Accident Involving a Government Vehicle in Houston

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Being involved in a car accident is already an overwhelming experience, especially if it involves a government vehicle. A government vehicle accident comes with different legal complexities and challenges that can make the process of getting a settlement a bit harder.

At DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, our Houston car accident lawyers have experience with cases where government vehicles are involved in accidents. We can help you navigate this legal process to file your claim and get the compensation you deserve.

Keep reading to find out what the government vehicle accident policies include and what you should do directly after the accident.

What is a Government Vehicle?

In Texas, there are many different types of vehicles that fall into the category of government vehicles. To fall into this category, the vehicle has to be owned by and used exclusively in the service of the United States, the state, a county, municipality, school district, or open-enrollment charter school. In simpler terms, a government vehicle is a vehicle used solely for the purpose of the state or federal government.

So examples of government vehicles include school buses, fire fighter engines, Coast Guard vehicles, and police cars.

Understanding Government Vehicle Immunity

Vehicle accidents involving government vehicles can be more complex since the government takes responsibility for the vehicles and the drivers. However, government immunity can make these accidents a bit more complicated for the average Texas citizen. Vehicle liability is often an exception to governmental immunity for auto accidents involving government employees and vehicles.

Like other kinds of vehicle accidents, how difficult your claim is will depend on the different factors in your specific case. For instance, was the government employee on or off duty? Was the government employee driving recklessly? These are things that can impact your claim and how difficult government immunity makes it when suing for damages.

You will need to clearly establish liability to prove that the government employee was the one at fault. Doing this will be essential when filing your claim to receive compensation for things like lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.

How to File a Claim After an Accident With a Federal Government Vehicle

Texas has a tort claims act that allows you to sue the government for damages relating to specific repercussions of government vehicle accidents. This includes many government vehicle accidents that result in death, personal injury, or property damage.

There is a statute of limitations for Texas government tort claims, which is six months after the accident or injury occurred. However, this can vary by state as Houston provides an even shorter period of time, which is 90 days after the accident or injury. 

You will need to file your tort claim with the mayor or City Council, and it should include details such as:

  • The identity of the injured party
  • Date of the injury or accident
  • Time and place of the injury
  • What led to the injury
  • Description of the damages or injuries

Before you attempt to file any kind of claim against a government vehicle, you need to hire a government vehicle accident attorney. They will instruct you on the best course to take when filing your claim and can help you do so within the correct time frame. An attorney will also help you handle communication since this can be a bit more difficult with government entities.

Steps to Take After a Government Vehicle Accident

Whether you are in an accident with a federal government vehicle or a normal vehicle, there are specific steps you need to take directly after the incident. These steps will help you stay safe as well as build a more substantial claim that can help you get compensation later on. Keep in mind that your safety and the safety of your passengers should be your number one priority directly after the accident.

Call 911

If you are in an accident with a federal government vehicle, one of the first things you need to do is call 911 to report the accident. The 911 dispatcher will be able to send police to the accident location as well as an ambulance. In the meantime, you should try to drive your vehicle to the side of the road or a nearby location where it will be safe and out of the way if this is possible.

You will need to give a report to the police once they arrive, and you should be checked out by the ambulance team. Seeking immediate medical care will help establish a paper trail regarding any injuries, which will act as evidence for your claim later on.

Exchange Information

Like any kind of vehicle accident, you need to exchange contact information with the driver of the government vehicle. Avoid discussing the accident, as anything you say could be brought up later on, hindering your claim. If you are injured and cannot exchange information, you should be able to find the driver’s information in the police report.

Gather Evidence

If you aren’t injured, you can begin documenting evidence at the scene of the collision. You can do this by taking photos of your injuries and property damage as well as looking for cameras that could have filmed the accident. You could also get the contact information of any bystanders who could provide a witness statement.

Contact an Attorney

As soon as you can, it is crucial to hire a government vehicle accident lawyer to help you file your claim. They will help you understand what your options are, as well as gather evidence that you may not have access to to support your claim.

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Attorney at DeHoyos Car Accident Attorneys

At DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, our government vehicle accident lawyers have extensive experience with vehicle accidents. We can help you collect evidence, file a personal injury claim, and negotiate with the other parties to get the settlement you are entitled to.

Are you ready to pursue compensation after a car accident with a government vehicle? Call our Houston office today at 832-745-4878 to speak with one of our attorneys.



















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