Birmingham Federal Tort Claims Act Attorney
In personal injury cases involving individuals, the general process is to seek compensation from the liable party. The victim files a claim to receive restitution to pay for damages.
The process is different when the federal government is involved, however. When an employee or agent of the federal government causes injuries and other damages due to their negligence, they are not the ones considered liable. Instead, fault lies with the U.S. government.
The claim must be filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a statute that was created in 1946. This act allows people to hold the U.S. government responsible for wrongdoing committed by its employees or agents. However, it does not cover injuries caused by intentional misconduct. Before this statute was enacted, the federal government was protected from claims under sovereign immunity.
Examples of Federal Torts
So what exactly is a federal tort? Here are some examples:
- Car accident involving an on-duty FBI agent
- Slipping and falling in a post office
- Medical malpractice by a VA doctor
However, not every incident involving a federal office or employee can be filed as a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Basically, your claim will not be allowed unless the government allows you to sue.
While the act is intended to provide compensation for property loss, injury, or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act by any government employee, this is up for interpretation. For example, these exceptions apply:
- Independent contractors cannot be sued.
- The incident must have occurred within the scope of the federal employee’s employment.
- The claim must be permitted in the state in which the incident occurred.
The first step for a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act is to file it with the responsible federal agency. A lawyer can help with this process, but generally, you will use Standard Form 95. You have just two years to file a claim, so do it as quickly as possible.
Be sure to include all the facts pertaining to the claim. You also need to include the exact amount of monetary damages you are claiming. Once you submit your claim, the federal agency has six months to respond. In some cases, the agency may settle outside of court.
If your claim is denied or not paid, you then have six months to file a lawsuit. However, if there is no ruling on your claim, then you can either wait or move ahead with a lawsuit.
Contact a Birmingham Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer Today
Injury claims under the realm of the federal government can be hard to fight. There is a whole different process involved, so seek legal help from a law firm who is experienced with the process and can properly handle your claim.
The Birmingham personal injury lawyers at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help you with federal tort claims. You have just two years to file a claim, so get started right away. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at (205) 731-2566.