Visitor Question

Filing a claim after a Sheriff’s pickup truck backed into our car?

Submitted By: Mike (Covington, LA)

My wife, myself, and our three children pulled into a private parking lot for lunch at a local BBQ place.

We pulled up at an angle about 6 feet behind a pickup truck that appeared to be in line for a parking place along the side of the restaurant, which was a narrow alley.

After we sat there for about 20 seconds I exited the vehicle to go place a take out order.

I heard the tires of the truck that was in front of us spinning out so I turned my head and looked back in horror to watch the pickup truck slam into our car.

No one was injured but there was a significant amount of damage to the front fender of our car.

The driver of the truck identified himself as an employee of the parish jail and his car was a parish vehicle. There was barely a scratch on the pickup truck.

My question is, will my wife be in danger of being at any fault, since we cannot prove she was stopped other than the fact that I had plenty of time to exit the vehicle and make my way up to the porch of the restaurant? How do we get compensation for this since the pickup was a parish vehicle? Thanks for any info you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mike,

Under Sovereign Immunity, a political subdivision like a Parish, or a City like Covington, may be protected and immune from property damage and personal injury claims. However, the Parish or the City, pursuant Section 5106 (b)(1) of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, may waive their immunity and agree to accept a claim or be sued.

Section B(1) reads in part:

“The total liability of the state and political subdivisions for all damages for personal injury to any one person, including all claims and derivative claims, exclusive of property damages, medical care, and related benefits and loss of earnings, and loss of future earnings, as provided in this Section, shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars, regardless of the number of suits filed or claims made for the personal injury to that person.”

Begin by contacting the City of Covington’s “Report an Issue” page. Tell them what happened to your car and you will be referred to the department handling compensation for property damage, or to the Parish responsible for property damage claims.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 28, 2016

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