Enacted in 1946, the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA) serves as a legal means for individuals who have been wrongfully injured to pursue legal action against an at-fault employee of the U.S. government. Essentially, the FTCA allows you to sue the government for negligence if you can demonstrate that your damages were caused by the negligent acts of a government employee who was working within the capacity of their duties.
The FTCA allows certain citizens to bypass sovereign immunity, which says that citizens cannot file suit against their state, and pursue tort claims against the government. There are certain limitations to the FTCA, and these limitations can vary from state to state, so it is important that you retain an attorney who is informed of these variances and can work to help you procure a favorable resolution.
This can be a very complex and confusing process with numerous limitations, stipulations, and other obstacles. For this reason, we encourage you to reach out to our Florida trial lawyers at Clark Fountain.
What Qualifies Us to Handle FTCA Cases?
- 200+ years of combined experience
- Trial-tested and battle-ready team
- Many board certified attorneys on staff
- AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Immersive investigative approach
You deserve seasoned litigation that cares about you and your life—call 561-899-2100 for a free case consultation!
Can I Make a Claim Under the FTCA?
You are very limited in your ability to sue the government. The FTCA only allows certain kinds of legal action against federal employees—so long as they were acting within the scope of their employment when the negligence or wrongdoing occurred.
Here are some additional key guidelines to keep in mind when considering an FTCA claim:
- Generally speaking, claims of wrongdoing are only allowed in limited cases such as against FBI officers.
- Independent contractors that have hired by the federal government typically can’t be sued.
- The legal action brought forward must stay within and be permitted by the state law where the incident occurred.
- Again, the negligent act or wrongdoing must have happened within the scope of the employee’s duties.
There are numerous other limitations in place on FTCA lawsuits, so it is important to speak to a skilled and seasoned trial attorney regarding your case. This can help you determine whether or not you should move forward with your claim and seek compensation from the government.
The Process for FTCA Lawsuits
Unlike normal negligence suits, you don’t go straight to court with a Federal Tort Claims Act case. Instead, you must file an administrative claim with the federal agency involved in the incident, such as the U.S. Postal Service if you suffered a slip and fall on their premises.
You must include the following information and meet the following standards:
- Claim is filed within two years of incident with appropriate agency
- List specific facts and exact amount of damages you are seeking
- Allow the agency six months to respond
- If your claim is rejected, you only have six months to file a lawsuit
Once you have exhausted your administrative remedies, you can file a lawsuit against the government in court—if the government doesn’t respond to your claim within six months, you can continue to wait for a response or pursue a lawsuit at any time without a six-month time restriction to worry about.