If you were hurt by a negligent government employee, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Dedicated Nashville public transportation accident attorney Matt Hardin has nearly 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims in Nashville and beyond. Don’t let the government intimidate you from pursuing recovery for the harm that you suffered. Public employees are not immune from the responsibilities that apply to all other citizens of Tennessee.
In a car accident involving two private citizens, an injured party can take his or her claim straight to court using a Nashville auto accident lawyer. By contrast, a more complicated procedure unfolds when a crash victim wants to sue the government for the careless actions of its employees. Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-201, government entities are generally immune from lawsuits that arise from their employees’ actions within the scope of their employment.
Fortunately, there are several exceptions to this general rule. One of the exceptions is that the government may be sued for injuries caused by the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, such as in a car wreck. An injured person starts by filing a claim with the responsible government entity, which has 60 days to respond. If the claim is denied, or the 60-day response period has expired, the claim can proceed in court. If the case names a government entity as the sole defendant, Tenn. Code. Ann. § 29-20-307 requires that the case be heard by a judge, not a jury. Furthermore, Tennessee law caps the damages available in suits against government entities. An experienced public transportation accident attorney can help you navigate these requirements in Nashville and elsewhere.
Once the procedural hurdles are met, however, the case may proceed as would any other negligence claim. To prevail in a lawsuit based on a public transportation accident, the victim must prove:
Government entities, such as the Nashville MTA or other public transit authorities, owe their riders and the people with whom their vehicles share the road a duty to exercise reasonable care. Tennessee courts have defined this duty to mean behaving as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances to avoid an unreasonable risk of harm.
An example of unreasonable behavior could be a bus driver speeding or failing to yield the right of way at an intersection. A victim can prove that the driver acted carelessly with data collected by police at the scene of the accident, witness testimony, or other evidence. To prove causation, the victim must show the victim’s injuries would not have occurred without the bus driver’s negligent conduct and that the injuries were a foreseeable result of that conduct. Our Nashville public transportation accident lawyers can help you assess whether the facts of your case meet these elements.
If the victim prevails in this lawsuit, he or she may be entitled to damages. These can extend from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Cases involving the negligence of government entities can be complex. When you are hurt by the carelessness of a public employee, there are special procedural hurdles that you must clear before bringing a suit. Nashville vehicle accident lawyer Matt Hardin has the experience and knowledge to help people injured while riding on or using roads near public transportation. To schedule a free consultation, call (615) 200-1111 or fill out our online form.