With so many state and local government vehicles on the road, Louisiana residents could end up in a collision with one of these vehicles. When such an incident occurs, it is important to note that government agencies have special protection from liability that one does not find in cases against a private individual or company.

As the Louisiana Record explains, a couple in New Orleans is suing after a U.S. Postal Service truck rear-ended them. The complaint notes that they filed a claim to the federal agency in a timely manner and that they are “alleging negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act.” This is due to the added protections granted to governmental entities. 

According to FindLaw, personal injury and property damage at the hands of state and federal employees is an exclusion to sovereign immunity, meaning the government can be held responsible in these cases. When a person has a potential lawsuit against a government agency, it is imperative to see a lawyer as soon as possible. State laws vary, and many states require that an administrative claim is filed within a certain amount of time or advance notice is given to the agency before a lawsuit can be filed in civil court. There are also limits to the types of cases that can be pursued, including states that exclude medical malpractice lawsuits, for example. Only financial damages can be sought in these cases, and there are sometimes caps put on the amount a jury can award in damages. This can result in a jury awarding a higher amount and a judge lowering the award in accordance with the law.