FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA) LAWYER
Based in Los Angeles and Practicing Nationwide
HOW DO I SUE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
We all know that you can file a lawsuit against our ex-employer for wrongful termination, or sue a hospital for medical malpractice, or bring suit against a reckless driver that caused a crash. But what we do if that wrongdoer was the federal government?
Agents, employees, and officers of the federal government commit negligent torts and cause personal injuries just like any other members of the general public. But for a substantial portion of our nation’s history, however, victims that had been harmed by the negligent actions of federal employees were barred from suing the federal government by the doctrine of “sovereign immunity”—a legal doctrine that prevents regular citizens from suing the “United States” unless there’s been some Congressional act to allow the filing of a lawsuit.
That changed with the enactment of the Federal Tort Claims Act—or FTCA—which is the law that Congress passed many years ago to permit victims injured by government negligence to sue the federal government for personal injury.
That means, for example, that if you got into an accident with, say, a Postal vehicle or Army truck, then you likely have the right to sue the federal government for your injuries under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Or, for example, if you’re a military veteran who gets medical care from the Veterans Affairs Administration and you suffered an injury as the result of VA medical malpractice, then you, too, likely have the right to sue the federal government under the FTCA. Or, if you slipped and fell and injured yourself in a government building, perhaps at the Post Office or Social Security Administration, then you also likely have the right to bring an FTCA lawsuit.
HOW DO I FIND A FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT ATTORNEY?
As a former Assistant United States Attorney, I was for many years responsible for handling FTCA lawsuits on behalf of the federal government. The cases I handled ranged from small car accidents to catastrophic rollovers, from minor slip-and-falls to paralyzing spinal cord injuries, from VA medical malpractice to human rights abuses against immigration detainees. So, now that I represent victims, I am especially well-versed in pursuing FTCA claims and ensuring that people injured by government negligence and wrongdoing get the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured or impacted by the negligence of a federal agent, employee, or agency, please give me a call and let’s what options you might have.
what's important to know about suing the federal government under the federal tort claims act?
Timeliness is a key issue under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The statute of limitations—or lawsuit filing deadline—is certainly important in every type of case, but especially so when it comes to suing the federal government. The FTCA gives victims two years within which to file a claim, but your particular state’s statute of limitations may be considerably shorter. So, you need to be attentive to that interplay between state and federal law.
Also, “administrative claims” are critical under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Before you can actually file a lawsuit in federal court against the government, you have to have first filed an administrative claim with the particular agency that you contend caused your injuries. If you fail to file that administrative claim—or if you don’t complete the administrative claim form correctly—your case could be dismissed. And then timing comes back into play. You only have a limited amount of time to bring suit in federal court once your administrative claim is adjudicated.
Given the difficulty in navigating this process, it makes sense to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in FTCA actions. The right attorney can make the process much easier to negotiate, while also helping ensure that you are fairly compensated for any injuries you’ve suffered. If you or a loved one has been injured or impacted by the negligence of a federal agent, employee, or agency, please give me a call and let’s what options you might have.
does your firm handle federal tort claims act cases in my hometown?
Yes, JONES LAW is a national law firm and handles Federal Tort Claims Act cases across the country. Our lawyers are licensed to practice in California, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And federal law allows our attorneys to obtain temporary admission to practice law in your area’s federal court when our technical expertise and trial experience can make a difference in getting you the justice you deserve.
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