Florida Army Crash National Guard Truck Accident Kills One and Injuries Four Guardsmen Near Sebring

A chain reaction crash of military vehicles recently occurred near Sebring in Central Florida and proved deadly for one Florida Army National Guardsmen. The accident, which also injured four other National Guardsmen, occurred on January 19th. According to Military Times’s account of the crash, the incident occurred when three heavy-duty trucks, similar to tractor trailers but that are officially known by the military as Palletized Load Systems, crashed into each other while traveling to Avon Park, Florida for a training mission, according to a Florida Army National Guard public information officer. The three vehicles were traveling in a convoy on the highway when the third vehicle failed to stop for a red light, crashing into the vehicle in front of it and causing that truck to crash into the one in front of it. Thankfully, no civilians were involved or injured in the collision. The Florida Army National Guard is currently investigating how exactly the accident occurred.

Federal Government Lawsuits in Connection with Motor Vehicle Accidents

Although no civilian motorists were injured in the recent military accident in Sebring, suing an arm of the federal government like the Florida Army National Guard is different than suing a commercial insurer or a company whose large trucks may have caused an accident in which someone is injured. Typically when a large commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer is involved in an accident, then an injured motorist would file suit in state court against the tractor trailer’s driver, his or her employer and the employer’s or driver’s insurer. That is different when the accident involves a government employee in a government vehicle. In this particular scenario of the collision of multiple Florida Army National Guard trucks, if another motorist had been injured or killed as a result of the collision, then any lawsuit he or she filed would be filed under a special federal statute called the Federal Tort Claims Act, or the FTCA as it is more commonly known. Any time an arm of the federal government is sued for a tort like a death or injuries that may have been caused in a motor vehicle accident, the suit is filed under the FTCA. FTCA cases have specific rules that apply to them, like caps on the pain and suffering damages available of $250,000. FTCA claims also must be brought in federal court, unlike most “regular” auto accident lawsuits, which are usually brought in Florida state court. FTCA claims also require that the injured party first give notice to the affected agency or arm of the government before filing a lawsuit, in this case the Florida Army National Guard, and allow the agency/arm of the government to conduct an investigation.

To put it all together, in this scenario, if a civilian had been injured in this accident, then his or her attorney would be required to first notify the Florida Army National Guard of his or her injury and allow the Army National Guard to investigate the claim. That could result in a settlement offer or denial of the claim. Once that investigation is complete, then the injured motorist would be free to file suit, but in federal court. Once suit was filed, the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering would apply but expenses like car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, etc. would not be capped.

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident Caused by a Government Employee

Suing the government presents a whole host of challenges that are different than suing a normal driver and his or her insurer. However, at Schwed Adams & McGinley, over 90 percent of the cases that our firm handles relate to motor vehicle accidents. We therefore have experience in all forms of auto and truck accidents, involving those filed against federal or state governments under the FTCA or other statutes. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have hundreds of years of legal experience and we have represented thousands of accident victims in auto and truck accidents.   Even if you were injured by a government employee driving a government vehicle, we know the ins and outs of the procedures that you must follow to be compensated for your injuries. Therefore if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a government employee, whether it be a state or federal employee, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 to discuss your legal options today.

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