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Federal Tort Claims Act

Ordinarily, the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” bars any lawsuits from being brought against the federal government. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was created to allow certain kind of lawsuits against the government for actions of federal employees who were acting within the scope of their employment. The FTCA is intended to provide monetary compensation for an injury, property loss, or death “caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government.”

This means that if you have suffered medical malpractice while being treated at a Veterans Administration medical center, or if you as a spouse or family member of an active duty military service member suffers medical malpractice while receiving treatment at the medical facility, you may be able to bring a claim for the injuries you suffered under the FTCA. Likewise, if you are in a collision with a Postal Service vehicle or other governmental vehicle, you may be able to recover for the property damage and/or personal injury damages under the FTCA.

Unlike a normal negligence claim, the FTCA has several additional procedural requirements that an individual must exhaust prior to bringing the claim against the Government in court. Ordinarily you have two years from the time your claim arises to file your administrative claim with the responsible federal agency. Once you claim is submitted, the agency has six months to rule on it. During this time the agency can agree to pay you some or all of the damages you requested in your administrative filing. If the agency rejects your claim, you have six months from the date of the denial to file a lawsuit in federal court.

If you or a family member has suffered personal injuries or property damages as a result of a federal government employee’s actions, then you may be entitled to bring a claim for your damages under the FTCA. Call or email today to discuss your potential FTCA case.


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