When Can the Government Be Liable for a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
July 4, 2024
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If you are involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you may wonder if the government can be held liable for the damages and injuries you have suffered. While accidents are often caused by the negligence of individual drivers, there are situations where the government may also bear responsibility.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we understand the complexities of government liability in car accidents. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine if the government can be held responsible.

Poorly Maintained Roads

One common way the government can be liable for a car accident in Pennsylvania is through poorly maintained roads. For example, if a road is poorly maintained, has inadequate signage, or lacks proper lighting, and these factors contribute to an accident, the government may be held responsible for the resulting damages.

If a road is in a state of disrepair and this directly contributes to a car accident, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against the government entity responsible for maintaining that road. This can include cases involving potholes, uneven pavement, or other hazardous road conditions.

Government-Owned Vehicles

If you have been in a car crash with a government-owned vehicle, such as a maintenance vehicle or police car, you may have the right to sue the government for negligence.  In order to sue the government for negligence in a car crash involving a government-owned vehicle, you will need to prove that the government employee driving the vehicle was negligent in some way that led to the accident. This may include proving that the driver was speeding, not following traffic laws, distracted, or otherwise acting recklessly.

Additionally, you will need to show that the government is liable for the actions of its employees while they are on the job. This is known as vicarious liability, where an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees while they are working.

If You Are a Government Employee

Government employees, like anyone else, can be involved in car accidents. If you are a government employee and find yourself in such a car accident, it could be possible to hold your employer liable. 

Government liability in car accidents involving government employees can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. If the government agency had policies or created circumstances that contributed to the injury of its own employee, it could be held liable. For example, if the employee was required to drive a government vehicle that was not properly maintained or was a passenger in a government owned vehicle, the government agency could be found responsible for the employee’s injuries.

Contact a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney

It is important to note that holding the government liable for a car accident can be a complex and challenging process. Government agencies are often protected by sovereign immunity, which shields them from certain types of lawsuits. However, there are exceptions to sovereign immunity that may allow you to pursue a claim against the government for damages resulting from a car accident.

If you believe that the government may be liable for a car accident in which you were involved, it is important to seek the guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of filing a claim against a government agency and advocate for your rights to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. Contact Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. at (215) 822-7575 or use our contact form to set up a free consultation.

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
July 4, 2024
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.