The federal government cannot be sued like individuals and corporations. It enjoys what is known as sovereign immunity. But Congress has created a mechanism and procedure so that certain claims can be made and recovery can be awarded for damages done to individuals by a federal entity or employees of the federal government. This is called the Federal Torts Claims Act.
The FTCA is limited in its application. If a cause of action is not covered by the Act, then there is no claim for it. There are a number of exceptions to the Act’s coverage. For example, independent contractors hired by the government generally aren’t covered, and actions taken by federal employees outside the scope of their employment are not covered. However, claims of malpractice by federally-employed physicians are generally covered as are slip-and-falls resulting from a federal employee’s negligence in a federal facility. Punitive damages are not covered.
The first step to filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act is to file the claim with the federal agency involved. This should be done within two (2) years of the incident. The agency has six months to respond. If the agency denies the claim in whole or in part, or fails to respond within six months, a claimant has six months to file a lawsuit.
Lawsuits are generally proper in the district where the claimant resides or where the incident occurred.
If you have may have a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act or your claim has been denied, contact our experienced Huntsville overseas personal injury attorneys. Since 1979, we have put our deep knowledge of federal torts as well as our investigative prowess, talent for effective negotiations, and proven litigation skills to work for injured clients. We listen carefully to your personal account of what happened, research your claim of government involvement and aggressively advocate for your rights, start to finish.
Contact us today by calling (256) 533-2440 or completing the form below.