The process of filing a personal injury case against another citizen is pretty straightforward and discussed almost everywhere. However, the same cannot be said when the negligent party happens to be a government official or the government itself.
Reputable law firms, like Midwest Injury Lawyers, have been helping the common man fight against the injustice they suffer. A negligence case against the government is one such area where the services of a lawyer are essential.
There are certain complications when it comes to filing a case against the government. But the answer to the question “Can I sue the federal government?” is a yes.
Instances when the government can be sued
Certain sovereignty rules come into play when you’re trying to file a case against the government. But as time passed, exceptions were made to maintain a sense of fairness. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was introduced by US lawmakers for this very purpose. It allows the common man to seek compensation if they have been wronged or is a victim of negligence by a government official. The laws also apply if you sustain an injury on government premises.
You have the right to file a claim under FTCA if you meet the following requirements:
- You suffered an injury due to a federal employee
- The employee was acting within the scope of their official duty when the injury happened
- The employees’ actions exhibited negligence or an intention to cause harm
- You suffered injuries and damages due to the employees’ negligence or intentional thoughts
The next section discusses the different steps you have to follow to file an administrative claim against the federal government.
File a claim within the specified time
Like all personal injury cases, the statute of limitations applies in cases against the government as well. Reach out to a lawyer or check with your local government agency to find out how much time you have to file an administrative claim.
Mention all the facts of the case
The administrative claim should include all the relevant facts of the case and how much compensation you’re expecting from the government agency. Administrative claims are submitted using Standard Form 95 (SF 95).
While submitting the claim, make sure you include all the losses and damages you’ve suffered. This is the only opportunity to ask for fair compensation. You can only ask for a better amount later if you have new evidence to support the increase in compensation.
Wait for the agency’s response
Any federal agency has 6 months to respond to your administrative claim. There are two ways this would go.
- The agency agrees to your claim and decides to pay some or all of the damage you’ve mentioned in the claim.
- The agency denies the claim. They may also offer a lower amount as compensation for your losses and damages.
Filing a lawsuit
Now that you have received a response, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re taking this claim to court. You have a time period of 6 months if you choose to file a lawsuit. It is important to proceed quickly, as sometimes claims are rejected for being too late.
The 6-month time period is only if the agency denies the claim. It doesn’t apply if you haven’t received a response from the government agency.
The FTCA is riddled with complexities. An average person will easily make mistakes that will completely ruin any chance of compensation, let alone fair compensation.
Reach out to a lawyer today to find out how to take advantage of the FTCA. With the right resources, you will have little to no hassles in getting compensation for all your losses and damages.