Recovering Damages When Injured by Federally-Owned Vehicle

Written by Steven Matz on . Posted in .

Not unless you can prove that the vehicle and its driver were at fault. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows you to sue the government for injury incidents, but only if you can prove that the driver, not you, caused the incident.

Can I recover no-fault damages and pain and suffering damages if I am injured by a federally-owned vehicle, such as a mail truck?

If you can prove that, you can seek any damages you can prove. If the accident happens in Michigan, and you have auto insurance coverage (even if you were a pedestrian), your Michigan no-fault benefits will pay your wage loss and medical expenses in the usual fashion. You would still sue for pain and suffering under the FTCA, although Michigan law would still apply in your federal suit to the extent that you would have to prove that you have a “threshold” injury such as serious impairment or disfiguring scarring.

If you were so unfortunate as to have been 1) hit by a mail truck 2) in Michigan, it was 3) your fault and 4) you aren’t covered by any no-fault policy of your own or a resident relative, you would have to apply to the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan for you no-fault coverage.

A final word: Don’t try to handle this type of claim yourself. There are strict time limits and procedural requirements under the FTCA that you must follow, or your case will be dismissed. Look for a lawyer who not only handles auto cases, but who knows the FTCA specifications as well.

Conclusion

Source: 599 F3d 540

If you, or someone you know, was injuried in a federally owned vehicle, whether it be a truck accident or car accident, contact the team at Matz Injury Law for a case evaluation today.

Written By Steven Matz

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury. Mr. Matz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with high distinction and highest honors in 1974 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree in 1977 from The George Washington University National Law Center. Mr. Matz lectures and publishes in a number of areas, including ethics, marketing, trial tactics, and head injury. Mr. Matz has served on the Michigan Association for Justice Executive Board and currently serves the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board as a Hearing Panel Chairman and Master. He is also a member of the State Bar Committee for Character and Fitness.
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The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 33 1/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 33 1/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients. 

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients.  We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims.  Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.

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