Can Victims Sue the Government Over an Auto Accident Injury?

Can Victims Sue the Government Over an Auto Accident Injury?

can you sue the government after a car accident?

A car accident is inconvenient at best, devastating at worst. No matter where your car crash falls along the scale, you may be interested in fighting for compensation if you believe the accident was not your fault. But what do you do if the accident was caused by a government employee or agency? In some states, you have limited recourse. Learn more about your options, and for more specialized advice regarding your claim, call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225.

Proving Liability in an Auto Accident

As an accident victim, you must be able to prove liability to get compensation. This is the same regardless of whether the other party was a private citizen or a government employee. This is one of the reasons you need an attorney. Proving liability can be complicated, since you must prove that:

  • The individual had an obligation to you, which in the case of a car accident simply means that drivers on the road have an obligation to drive reasonably and not harm others
  • The individual failed to fulfill that duty
  • As a result of that failure, they caused an accident
  • The accident caused your injuries

How Claims Against the Government Differ from Typical Claims

While liability is the same in cases against the government and individuals, essentially every other part of a personal injury claim against the government is different. The government is often protected under the principle of sovereign immunity, which prevents government agencies from being sued for the actions of their agents. This is partially true in Virginia.

In Virginia, an individual can submit a claim against a government agency for damage caused by an agent’s negligence. The incident must not have occurred as the result of an unlawful action. That is to say, if a government worker intentionally assaults someone while on duty, that is an unlawful action, and the victim would only be able to sue the individual person who assaulted them.

Furthermore, the state of Virginia places caps on damages. In a suit against the government, the amount recoverable cannot exceed $100,000 or the limits of the liability policy. The statute of limitations in this type of case is one year.

If a federal government agency is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to sue them under the FTCA. The process is fairly complicated, as you must fill out a variety of forms, meet multiple deadlines, and meet specific filing requirements. Failing to meet even one of these requirements could lead to your case being dismissed. Because of this, it’s important to seek legal attention as soon as possible after an accident. They can help you navigate the complex paperwork and ensure that no deadlines are missed or forgotten.

Determining the Scope of Duties

Under Virginia law, you can only sue an agency if the person who caused your injuries was acting within the scope of their duties at the time of the accident. Consider, for example, a government-employed social worker driving between houses in their caseload. They forget to check their blind spot when changing lanes and sideswipe you. They were acting in the course of their duties while driving, and so you may be able to seek compensation.

However, imagine that the social worker stops at a bar between home visits. They drink too much and get behind the wheel while impaired. They strike you because of their impairment. In this case, they were not operating in the scope of their duties when they hit you, and you would not be able to sue the government. You would need to sue the individual personally.

Choose Pack Law Group for Your Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims can be complicated, and the process of getting the compensation you deserve can be frustrating. This is even worse when you throw in the fact that the government is party liable for your injuries. Luckily, you do not have to navigate this process or its requirements alone. The team at Pack Law Group fights aggressively for fair compensation for each and every client. Want to learn more about your options and find out if you have a valid claim? Let’s sit down and talk. Call us at 540-586-7225 or get in touch online to set up a consultation.

Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident

Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident

delayed injuries

Some car accident injuries are immediately apparent, leading to prompt diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, some injuries are much more subtle, taking days or weeks to show up. This is often because of the adrenaline surge that happens during an accident. The adrenaline prepares you to run or fight whatever threat you’re facing, but it also masks pain.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t fight for compensation on your own. Take on the insurance companies with the help of Pack Law Group. Learn more now by calling us at 540-586-7225.

Sudden Onset of Pain

The sudden onset of pain is a red flag after a car accident. As adrenaline wears off after a crash, it stops masking your body’s pain. Adrenaline can mask even serious injuries, so it’s important to listen to your body after a crash. Pay special attention to your back, neck, and shoulders. Because of how you sit in the car and the fact that the seatbelt holds you back during a crash, these areas of the body absorb a ton of impact in an accident.

Pain in the back or neck could be a sign of anything from a herniated disc or soft tissue injury to a spinal injury or traumatic brain injury.


Many people know that pain is something to be wary of after an accident, but fewer people know that numbness can be a bad sign too. Injuries don’t always cause pain; sometimes they can cut off contact between the brain and the location of the injury, leaving you with numbness or tingling. Nerve damage can leave you with limited blood flow to your extremities, so it’s crucial to seek care after a crash if you experience these symptoms.

Abdominal Swelling or Soreness

One of the most dangerous symptoms of an injury is abdominal swelling and pain. Internal bleeding is a major risk in a car accident, but it isn’t always immediately detectable. As blood begins to accumulate in the cavities of the body, you’ll often experience intense abdominal pain, tenderness, or swelling. If you experience these symptoms, you need immediate emergency medical care. Internal bleeding can quickly become fatal. Bruising is another sign of possible internal bleeding.

Uncontrollable Mood Swings or Outbursts

If you find yourself lashing out at the people around you after an accident or uncontrollably switching from happy to mad to weeping, it’s likely not your fault. Traumatic brain injuries are relatively common after a car accident, and they can cause a multitude of symptoms. Symptoms vary, depending on which part of the brain is affected by the injury.

The part of the brain that controls emotional regulation is often damaged during a car accident, which can lead to massive changes in personality, temperament, and moods. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to seek prompt treatment. The brain is highly plastic, which means it can heal from incredibly complex injuries in many cases, but it cannot do so without proper treatment and therapy.

Dizziness or Poor Coordination

Dizziness, poor coordination, and falls may all indicate a traumatic brain injury. The brain controls the movement of your extremities, and sudden changes in coordination are often tied to damage to the respective area of the brain. However, depending on how these symptoms present, they may also be indicative of internal bleeding.

The Importance of Medical Care

It’s understandable that many car accident victims are reluctant to seek medical attention after a crash. Medical bills are a primary cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and many people feel more comfortable waiting until they know medical care is absolutely necessary. However, doing this after a car accident can truly cost you your mobility, independence, or even your life. At the first sign of these troubling symptoms, you should get checked out and plan out your next steps.

In many situations, paying for medical care does not end up being a problem for accident victims. If you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to seek compensation with a personal injury claim. This would allow you to get the care you need without the financial fallout of medical bills you have to pay.

Find Out How We Can Help

At Pack Law Group, we are dedicated to our clients’ best interests. Our goal is to help every client get the compensation they deserve after a car accident. If you have been injured and you aren’t sure where to turn, we can help. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 540-586-7225 or contacting us online.