Can You Sue the Government in Idaho for Car Accidents Caused by Road Hazards?
We expect that we might be injured in a car accident caused by another driver, but we seldom think about a crash that is the government’s fault. The state or a local government entity might be liable if road debris or dangerous road conditions caused your car crash. If you are injured in a wreck caused by road debris, you may be able to sue the government for your damages. However, you need to understand there are special rules for filing lawsuits against a government entity.
As experienced Idaho car accident attorneys, we can help you file your claim against the state, county, or city. Our attorneys understand the special rules and laws related to suing a government agency. Let us protect you right to recover compensation for your injuries by handling your road debris accident claim for you.
Filing a Notice of Tort Claim
The first step in filing a lawsuit against a government agency or entity is filing a Notice of Tort Claim. Idaho law requires that your file your claim within 180 days from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your claim, you lose your right to file a lawsuit. Even though the rule may be different for a victim who is under the age of 18 years at the time of injury, it is best to file the notice within the 180 just to be safe.
Another issue is deciding who should receive the notice of claim. The law states that a claim notice must be filed with the secretary or clerk of the correct political subdivision. Because it can be a complicated undertaking determining exactly which agency was responsible for the road conditions, you could jeopardize your claim by filing with an incorrect division.
Furthermore, the notice of tort claim must contain specific language and information. Because there is not a standard form used by all agencies, you are responsible for including all information in your notice. Some of the information required in a notice includes:
- The circumstances surrounding the injury;
- The date, time, and place of injury;
- A description of the damage or injury;
- The amount of damages being claimed;
- Names of everyone involved in the accident;
- The address of your current residence; and,
- The address of your resident for six months before the filing of your notice.
Leaving information out of your notice could jeopardize your claim. This is another reason to hire an experienced Idaho accident attorney to handle this matter on your behalf.
Damages in a Road Hazard Accident Claim
If you file your notice of claim correctly and you are successful in your lawsuit, you may recover damages for your injuries and losses. Damages may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, mental anguish, and physical pain. However, the amount of compensation you receive may be limited.
By law, the most you can receive in an accident lawsuit against a government office is $500,000. While there may be a few, limited exceptions, this is the general rule. You should discuss your damages with an Idaho car accident attorney who has experience handling government claims.