Suing any federal government entity for damages in a personal injury claim comes with challenges not associated with suing a private citizen or corporation. The doctrine of sovereign immunity prohibits a private citizen from suing a government entity without permission. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a very intricate law that allows the filing of specific lawsuits against a federal government entity and/or federal employee for injuries incurred when they were performing their work-related duties. Certain strict rules of legal procedure make the involvement of a seasoned FTCA lawyer essential for the injured plaintiff.
For example, if you fall on a slippery floor in the post office because the federally-employed janitor was negligent, you must follow FTCA processes and procedures. If you are a veteran suffering from a brain tumor, and a Veterans Administration doctor misdiagnoses you with PTSD, the FTCA governs your medical malpractice claim.
The FTCA claims process is one of the least understood legal processes by the general public. We cannot completely cover it in a short web page; but we can share a few of the common misconceptions and tell you about conditions which justify speaking with an attorney about your possible FTCA claim:
FTCA has quite a few exceptions. One is that government-hired independent contractors can’t be sued in civil court unless contractors are procedurally classified as legal government employees. Only rarely – and under strict circumstances – can claims of intentional misconduct be brought against, for example, federal police officers.
The process begins with your lawyer filing an administrative claim with the federal agency that you believe is liable for the negligence or misconduct. If a postal truck rear-ends your vehicle on the street, your claim is filed with the United States Postal Service.
After you file, the federal agency has six months to respond. It may pay some – or all – of your damages. Or the agency may reject it and refuse to pay any damages at all. If that happens, you have six more months from the date the agency mails the decision to file a lawsuit against it.
Generally, your civil suit will be filed in the United States District Court where you live or where the actions occurred. You can’t sue the federal government in state court; nor can you recover punitive damages. And you are not permitted to ask the court for a damage amount greater than what was in your administrative claim without presenting newly discovered evidence.
You can collect damages for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage and wrongful death through an FTCA claim.; It’s best to retain an experienced FCTA attorney as soon as you or a family member has been injured by a federal employee. If you’re not certain about filing a claim – or don’t know whether your injury falls under the auspices of the FTCA or other special legislation – contact us today and get the answers you need.
Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC and his associates have the resources needed to prove your case and recover full and fair damages for you. A former state legislator, Chris has been a practicing attorney for almost 30 years. He continues to protect and fight for accident victims’ rights in Alexandria, Pineville, and throughout Central Louisiana. Contact him today at 318-487-9537 to arrange a free consultation. You pay only if Chris collects your rightful damages.