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Santa Barbara Government Vehicle Accident Lawyers


Holding Negligent Government Workers Accountable for Auto Accidents

We expect government workers to obey traffic laws. When they don’t, they are just as likely to cause a serious auto accident as any other driver on the road. Whether government workers are operating a police car, fire truck, or utility vehicle, they can catastrophically injure other drivers and pedestrians if they act negligently. When this occurs, you may be confused about how to file an auto accident claim and recover compensation for your injuries.

The team at NordstrandBlack PC is well-versed in filing government tort claims against negligent government workers and can explain the legal process in a free case evaluation. In one of our cases, we represented a developmentally disabled man who was struck while crossing the street by a Santa Barbara city employee, getting him full compensation for his injuries and trauma.

If you were injured in a car accident due to a negligent government agency, worker, or contractor, then you should not hesitate to contact a Santa Barbara government vehicle accident lawyer at NordstrandBlack PC. We have more than 40 collective years of experience representing injured clients and advocating for full compensation for their injuries, including cases against government entities. Call our office at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free case evaluation and tell us what happened to you.

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Common Government Vehicle Accidents

On the road, you hope that every other driver will follow the laws and drive safely, especially if they work for the City of Santa Barbara or another government agency. Unfortunately, any driver can act negligently and cause a vehicle collision. Government employees may speed, make dangerous maneuvers, ignore local traffic laws, or perform other reckless actions that put you at risk.

Government vehicles that can cause serious accidents in Santa Barbara include:

  • Police cruisers operated by either the City of Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, or California Highway Patrol
  • Santa Barbara Fire Department firetrucks
  • Streetsweepers operated by the City of Santa Barbara Public Works
  • Garbage trucks operated by MarBorg, a city contractor
  • United States Postal Service (USPS) mail vans and trucks
  • Buses operated by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD)
  • Santa Barbara Public Works or CalTrans road crews who leave equipment in the street and create dangerous roadways

If you were injured due to a negligent government entity, worker, or contractor, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages, but this process is complex. You should contact a skilled Santa Barbara injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and learn how to file a claim.

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How Can I File a Government Tort Claim in California?

Under the California Government Tort Act, anyone injured by the negligent actions of a government entity, worker, or contractor can file a government tort claim to recover full compensation for their injuries. However, this process is more complicated than a traditional car accident claim, and you must fulfill specific legal requirements to succeed.

For a government entity to be found liable for a vehicle collision, you, the victim, must demonstrate that the government employee injured you through an act of negligence while fulfilling their duties. For example, if a Santa Barbara County police cruiser rear-ended your vehicle at an intersection, you could file a claim with the city to receive full compensation for your injuries. To do so, you must first identify which government entity caused your accident. The procedures and forms you must submit vary depending on whether you were injured by a city, county, state, or federal employee.

Once you have determined which government entity is liable for your damages, you must submit a Government Claims Form with the agency. The deadline to submit this form is typically six months from the date of your accident, but, in some cases, you can receive an extension, such as if your child was injured in a government vehicle accident. You should first speak to an experienced attorney who can explain how long you have to file a claim and review your case. Government entities can reject a claim for a minor error, and you will want to have your case thoroughly investigated.

After you submit your claim to the liable government entity, that entity has 45 days to review your claim and make a decision, which can include:

  • You claim is approved, and the government entity provides compensation for your injuries and damages.
  • Your claim is rejected. However, you have six months from the date of the rejection to file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
  • If the government entity does not respond to your claim within 45 days, then it is presumed rejected, but you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Government tort claims can easily be rejected due to a minor filing error or a lack of evidence. However, when you work with the team of experienced lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC, you can trust that your claim will be handled by a diligent and knowledgeable law firm.

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Compassionate and Professional Representation for Accident Victims

The team at NordstrandBlack PC has more than 40 years of combined experienced in the law. We have successfully represented many clients who were injured due to negligent government workers. We can review your case in a free consultation and thoroughly investigate your accident to determine which government entity is liable for your injuries. To speak with an experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer, contact NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022.

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