Government vehicles, indispensable for public safety and services, crisscross Colorado’s roads daily. From police cruisers to ambulances, these vehicles, marked or unmarked, coexist with civilian traffic. However, untangling liability in the aftermath of an accident involving a government vehicle poses challenges.
If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact the personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.
Understanding Sovereign Immunity and the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act
In Colorado, legal recourse in accidents with state government vehicles hinges on sovereign immunity—a doctrine shielding governments from certain liabilities. Originally crafted to safeguard monarchs from legal repercussions, sovereign immunity now extends to U.S. federal and state governments. However, states like Colorado have enacted legislation, such as the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, to navigate around this doctrine. This act, while preserving some immunity, allows claims under specific circumstances, notably when negligence is proven.
Under the Governmental Immunity Act, the Colorado government assumes liability if one of its employees, while on duty, negligently causes an accident. Whether it’s a paramedic responding to an emergency or a firefighter en route to a blaze, employees are expected to exercise reasonable care. Failure to do so can render the government accountable for damages and injuries.
Who is liable for an accident involving a colorado state government vehicle?
When government employees drive on the job, the public deserves protection. That’s why the Governmental Immunity Act allows lawsuits against the government for car accidents caused by negligent state workers. This exception ensures accountability and promotes safe driving by government agents.
Whether it’s an ambulance rushing to a call or a fire truck racing to an emergency, all government drivers must prioritize safety. Reasonable care is still expected, even in urgent situations. Negligence behind the wheel can lead to liability for the government agency employing the driver.
Just like any employer, the government can be held responsible for its employees’ actions. This principle, called vicarious liability, applies to car accidents involving government vehicles. However, suing the government in Colorado involves unique procedures compared to standard personal injury cases.
Initiating Claims Against the Colorado Government
Navigating through the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act requires adherence to specific protocols. Notably, claimants must adhere to the notice requirement, necessitating the submission of a formal notice within 180 days of the accident or injury discovery. Note that this deadline is shorter than the Colorado statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Moreover, after filing the notice, claimants must await a response from the government before proceeding with a lawsuit. Additionally, claims against the government are subject to damage caps, limiting financial compensation available to claimants.
Front Range Injury Attorneys specialize in guiding individuals through the intricate process of filing claims following accidents involving state government vehicles. Contact us for expert assistance in navigating the complexities of such cases.