Accidents involving government vehicles can have significant and far-reaching consequences. From law enforcement cruisers to public transportation buses and utility vehicles, various types of government vehicles are frequently involved in collisions on Maryland’s roads. These accidents can result in a wide range of damages, including financial losses, physical pain, and emotional anguish.
Under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), victims of such accidents may sue the responsible government entity for the injuries they sustained. However, these types of cases will involve various types of legal complexities. Plaintiffs’ paths to payment can be difficult to navigate without assistance from experienced legal professionals.
In the aftermath of your crash, seek guidance from our Maryland car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291.
What to Do After a Car Accident with a Government Vehicle in Maryland
It can be hard to maintain your composure in the aftermath of your car crash involving a government vehicle. Still, there are certain steps you should take that may accelerate your recovery and improve your chances at acquiring payment for your injuries.
Remain at the Scene and Call 911
After suffering a car accident with a government vehicle in Maryland, it’s essential to remain at the scene. Leaving the scene can have legal consequences. The immediate priority should be to remain at the scene call 911.
Reporting the accident to law enforcement is crucial as they will dispatch officers to assess the situation and create an official accident report. This report documents critical details such as the date, time, location, and parties involved, serving as crucial evidence in legal proceedings. Furthermore, emergency services can be sent for anyone who requires immediate medical attention.
Exchange Information with Other Parties
Exchange information with the other parties involved, including the government vehicle driver. Obtain their name, contact details, insurance information, and the government vehicle’s registration number. Additionally, gather contact information from any witnesses at the scene. Witness statements can be valuable if disputes arise about the accident’s cause. It’s essential to cooperate with law enforcement and provide accurate information while avoiding admitting fault or speculating about the accident’s cause.
Document the Scene
Documenting the accident scene is vital for establishing a clear picture of how the crash occurred. Use your smartphone or a camera to take photographs of the scene. Capture images of damage to your vehicle, the government vehicle, and any other vehicles involved. You should also photograph road conditions, including skid marks, debris, or hazards that may have contributed to the accident. Lastly, it may be helpful to document any relevant traffic signs, signals, or road markings that could be significant in understanding the accident’s circumstances. These visual records are valuable for accident reconstruction and determining liability.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t exhibit immediate or visible injuries, seeking medical attention after a car accident is essential. Some injuries, such as soft tissue injuries or concussions, may not manifest symptoms immediately. A medical examination can identify and document any injuries you sustained. This documentation will be crucial for establishing a link between your injuries and the accident, which is essential for any future claims for compensation or legal action.
Contact Our Lawyers
After addressing immediate safety concerns and receiving medical attention, you should contact our Aberdeen car accident attorneys. Government vehicle accidents can be complex because of specific legal procedures and potential government entity involvement. Our lawyers can guide you through the process, helping you understand your rights and ensuring compliance with the MTCA.
How the Maryland Tort Claims Act Will Affect Your Case
The MTCA is a state law that provides a waiver of sovereign immunity for the State of Maryland and its various government entities. Sovereign immunity traditionally shields the government from most lawsuits, but the MTCA allows individuals to seek compensation for personal injuries, property damage, or wrongful deaths caused by the negligent actions of government employees while acting within the scope of their employment.
One critical aspect of the MTCA is the requirement to provide notice to the responsible government entity within a specific timeframe. The notice should include details of the accident, your injuries or damages, and how the accident occurred. The purpose of this requirement is to inform the government about the incident and your intent to seek compensation.
Notice should be provided within one year of the date your accident occurred. Failing to adhere to this requirement can have serious consequences for your case. If you miss the deadline or fail to provide the necessary information, your claim may be dismissed. Therefore, it’s important to promptly gather all relevant details about your accident, including the date, location, the government entity involved, and the extent of your injuries or damages. The team at our law firm can help you meet these notice requirements accurately and on time.
The MTCA imposes a damages cap on the amount of compensation that can be recovered in a claim against a government entity for personal injuries, wrongful death, or property damage resulting from a car accident.
As of September 2023, the cap for personal injuries or wrongful death claims was set at $400,000 per claimant and property damage claims were capped at $100,000. These caps are in place to limit the financial liability of government entities. It’s important to note that pursuing a claim under the MTCA means that you may not be able to recover an amount exceeding these caps, even if your actual damages exceed these limits.
If you believe your damages may surpass the established caps, support from our team is crucial. Our legal professionals can help you explore all available options for pursuing compensation and assess the potential impact of these damage caps on your case.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers Today for Assistance with Your Claim in Maryland
Get help from our Baltimore car accident attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to assess your potential case for free.