Jacksonville, NC Military Vehicle Accident Lawyers

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Given the presence of Camp Lejeune in the Jacksonville, North Carolina, area, there are numerous military trucks out on the roadways in our region. Drivers have to contend with these vehicles the same way they do with any other tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle.

Military drivers may not be fully trained on how to operate their specialized vehicles, and they could cause serious accidents. Alternatively, a military driver can be injured in an accident with a negligent third party.

You can hold the federal government accountable, albeit in different ways than you may other responsible parties. Contact Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to learn more about the special procedures you must follow when filing a claim for a military vehicle accident in North Carolina.

Can You Receive Compensation for an Accident With a Military Vehicle?

The core basic rule from any personal injury case does not change just because you are dealing with harm caused by the federal government. In order to receive compensation, you need to prove that the other party to the car accident was negligent.

You are still the one who has the burden of proof to demonstrate negligence by showing that:

  • The driver owed you the duty of care.
  • They breached that duty by doing something considered unreasonable under the circumstances.
  • You suffered an injury.
  • You would not have been injured had not been for the actions of the driver.

You can expect the federal government to respond in the same manner as any insurance company would. Federal claims are not easy.

However, federal employees and other servicemembers are trying to protect budgets and may be incentivized to take a hard line against you.

Different Procedures Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

You need to follow a different procedure when seeking compensation from the Federal government. Any claim against the Federal Government must follow the procedures and requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act.

The government waives its sovereignty to allow you to sue, but there are certain restrictions and some different rules.

The first difference that you need to be mindful of is a shorter statute of limitations. Under North Carolina law, you have three years from the time you were injured or should have known you were injured to file a claim. The Federal Tort Claims Act shortens the statute of limitations to two years.

You Must Go Through the Government First When Filing a Claim

Unlike the average claimant, you are not allowed to begin by suing the government immediately in federal court. First, you need to present your claim directly to the government to give them a chance to respond.

You can file your claim initially with the Department of Defense because they are responsible for damage caused by military vehicles. The government would respond to your claim, either denying it or making you a settlement offer.

You can only take your case to court when you cannot resolve it with the government. Then, your lawsuit will be filed in federal court.

There are also some limitations on your damages. When you are suing the federal government, you cannot seek punitive damages. Otherwise, there are no damages caps in the Federal Tort Claims Act. State damages caps would apply to an FTCA claim, but there are no applicable ones under North Carolina law.

TRICARE May Need to Be Reimbursed in Third-Party Claims

Depending on where you were treated and your status as a service member or dependent, TRICARE may have covered your initial cost of care. If you are a military truck driver, you may have a cause of action against a third party who was to blame for the accident. (Injured servicemembers cannot sue the federal government under the Feres doctrine.)

TRICARE is usually reimbursed from the proceeds of a settlement or award, just like any other care provider. Your attorney can negotiate with TRICARE about their right to reimbursement when you have received your settlement.

Since there are numerous complexities when a military vehicle is involved in a crash, you always need an experienced car accident attorney who knows the specialized rules and how to deal with the government.

Contact Our Military Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Jacksonville, NC Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a military vehicle, Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have the experience and dedication necessary to help you. The first thing you need to do is schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. To speak with a lawyer, you can send us a message through our website or call us today at 910-405-7751.

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