Were you hit by a Nashville city bus? Has a cop car rammed you while on a routine patrol? Did a city owned vehicle back into your car when it was legally parked in a city parking lot? If so, you face the daunting prospect of persuading the city administration to pay compensation for the damage to your car and any injuries that were caused.
Whether the car accident was caused by a city employee or someone employed by the state or federal government, the rules for seeking compensation are complex, demanding and different.
Most governments of any type across America have something called ‘sovereign immunity.’ This is an ancient law inherited from the laws of England which specifically exempted the King or Queen of the day (the sovereign) from being blamed for harming anyone. It’s not quite as bad as you might think. If your car was totaled by a city bus and you ended up flat on your back in hospital, it would be unthinkable that the city wouldn’t take some responsibility for what happened.
As long as you can prove that a city (or state) employee was negligent, then you have good grounds for claiming compensation. What makes it different from filing a claim against an individual driver is that you have less time to do it, the procedure is more bureaucratic and the total amount capped is at a much lower figure.
You must be able to prove negligence
All personal injury claims depend on proving that damages are due because of someone else’s negligence. This is just as true for claims against a government entity as it’s the only way that sovereign immunity is sidelined. For example, if you were hit by a city bus and it turns out that the driver was stoned, or a cop car rammed you and you find out the cop was on his cell phone at the time of the accident, yelling at his ex, then this could be good examples of negligence. You will need to talk to a Nashville Car Accident Attorney to find out how to go about claiming compensation from the city and what your chances are of succeeding.
The claim procedure against the city
If you intend filing a claim against any Tennessee government entity, you should be aware that the procedure is not the same as it might be against an individual or private business. Instead of filing your claim with the negligent party’s insurance provider, you file your claim with the Division of Claims Administration of the Tennessee Department of Treasury. You also generally don’t file your claim against an individual city or state employee. It’s against the city or state administration. You can download a claims form from the government website or call in to the claims office to pick up a form. You are advised to get legal advice and help with your claim from your Nashville car accident attorney here in Nashville.
Limitations on a claim against the city
There are two main limitations on claims against a Tennessee government entity. Generally, the limitations are stricter than when claiming against any private individual or business.
Firstly, the statute of limitations for government claims, i.e. how long you are allowed to file a claim, is 1 year from the date of the car accident.
Secondly, there is an upper limit on how much you can claim. This amounts to a cap of $300,000 for a single accident victim’s injuries, $700,000 for the total of all injured accident victims and a cap of $100,000 for property damage. Punitive damages, which are normally awarded if the degree of negligence is severe, are not allowed in claims against Tennessee municipalities or the state of Tennessee.
Seek help from Nashville Car Accident Attorney
You are much more likely to get the compensation you deserve if you have the Nashville Car Accident attorney on your side. When you come to discuss your accident with us, there are no fees involved. If we take your case on, you don’t have to worry about upfront fees as we operate on a no win-no fee basis.
Keith Williams and his team at Nashville Injury Attorney have won millions of dollars in compensation for auto accident victims, including a 6.2 million dollar settlement. You can count on us for experience, service and results.