Filing Personal Injury Claims against the Federal Government
There are many different personal injury cases. Some are simple; others are complicated. One such complex case often involve those with the government.
Any individual who sustains injuries as a result of an accident caused by the governments negligence may be entitled to file a claim and sue the federal government under FTCA or the Federal Tort Claim Act.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)
The Federal Tort Claims Act also called FTCA, permits particular types of lawsuits filed against federal government employees who performs in their scope of employment.
Prior to the FTCA, there was a form of general rule in the doctrine of "sovereign immunity" in which a person is not allowed to sue the government unless a law specifies such provision.
If you have sustained injuries, either mentally or physically, due to the recklessness or carelessness of a government employee or agency, there is a possibility that you have a claim for negligence against them. However, it is important that you first determine whether you can sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act or not. If the FTCA permitted your claim, there is a high probability that it will not be barred by sovereign immunity.
Guidelines on the FTCA Claims
In the Federal Tort Claims Act, there are many limitations and exceptions. Some of the general guidelines concerning the limitations on FTCA claims are the following:
• The employees under the federal government are the only ones that can be sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act and not the independent contractors that were hired by the government unless they are regarded as employees
• The negligent action or wrongful conduct must have been done within the scope of the employment of the one being sued, which is called, the defendant
• Only claims of negligence are generally allowed, as opposed to intentional misconduct. However, there are certain claims for intentional misconduct that can be filed against particular federal law enforcement officers.
• The claim has to be based on and permitted by the law of the state where the misbehavior occurred
A typical negligence claim lawsuits is filed in court. However, under the Federal Tort Claims Act, victims are compelled to file an initial claim with the federal agency that is responsible for the alleged misconduct. This claim is known as an "administrative claim."
The simplest way in making your administrative claim is to use the Standard Form 95 or SF 95, which is the standard claim form of the federal government, although this is not exactly required.
The Standard Form 95 has boxes for all the information that needs to be provided. You can get a hold of a copy of this SF 95 from the website of the Department of Justice at www.usdoj.gov. You can also ask a copy from the federal agency where you will be presenting your claim.
If the misbehavior happened in California, it is advisable to hire an expert personal injury lawyer in the area. A professional who specializes in handling such cases of personal injury can aid you in all your legal concerns.
Our expert Los Angeles lawyers handle various personal injury cases in California. If you have any legal concerns regarding such cases, you may consult with our professionals by logging on to our website and dialing our toll-free number.