What is the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a law passed by Congress in 1946. The FTCA allows individuals to sue the United States federal government for personal injury actions. The FTCA means you can sue for injuries from the negligence of government employees. The FTCA covers a wide-array of personal injury lawsuits. Plaintiffs can sue for property damage, wrongful death, car wrecks, medical malpractice, etc.
What plaintiffs must prove for successful FTCA lawsuits:
- You or your property were injured by a federal government employee,
- The federal government employee was not acting within the scope of their official duties, or
- The federal government employee was acting negligently or wrongfully
FTCA Lawsuits Examples
Veterans Affairs Medical Malpractice
When a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional at the VA commits negligence, you can sue under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Our Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawyers can help if your family has been the victim of medical malpractice at a Veterans Affairs medical facility. This includes VA hospitals, clinics, out-patient services, and more.
Car Crashes Involving Federal Government Vehicles or Employees
The Federal Tort Claims Act could cover an auto accident with an FBI agent, federal police officer, federal parks employee, or federal wildlife officer. This depends upon where the crash happened and if the federal employee was within the scope of their employment. Some of these accidents may actually be under state law. But don’t worry, your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will investigate into this issue for you.
Slip and Fall Due to Unsafe Conditions in Government Building
Injury lawsuits from unsafe conditions at federal facilities are covered under the Federal Tort Claims Act. An example of this would be a slip and fall injury at a federal courthouse or post office. There are lots of federal government buildings and properties that fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act if an injury occurs.
Personal Injury From a Federal Prison Employee
If an employee at a federal prison causes an injury, you may be covered under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Federal prison employees are not immune from FTCA lawsuits. If you were injured by an employee at a federal prison, we highly suggest you consult with a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer.
How a Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer Can Help
After an injury, many people miss time from work to recover. A Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer can help you recover lost wages. Lots of injury victims miss so much time from work, that their family’s financial situation becomes dire. FTCA lawsuits can help injured victims recover lost monies from missing work.
Wrongful Death & Loss of a Loved One
If your family lost a loved one from the negligence of a government employee, you may be entitled to money from FTCA lawsuits. Unexpectedly losing a family member is devastating. A Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer can help your family by fighting for compensation.
If a government employee or a government action is responsible for property damage, you can recover monetary damages from FTCA lawsuits. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will always consider the amount of property damage inflicted in FTCA lawsuits.
Many people who are injured by negligent government employees have mounting medical debt after the injury. FTCA lawsuits can provide compensation to cover your past, present, and potentially even future medical bills related to your injury. Our Federal Tort Claims Act lawyers know how fast medical bills can pile up after a serious injury from a government employee.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are allowed in personal injury lawsuits. Calculating pain and suffering damages is an art. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will fight to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are often a substantial part of FTCA lawsuits.
If your FTCA lawsuits are filed from a car wreck, you could be entitled to money for car repair or replacement. When potential injury clients call our law firm, one of the most common questions they ask a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer is about their damaged automobile. We get it! You need to get to work and transport your family. FTCA lawsuits regularly include money for a new car or repair of your old one.
FTCA lawsuits allow personal injury victims to recover for emotional distress. Going through a serious injury can be an emotional process. You are immediately ripped out of your daily life, probably dealing with serious pain, and potentially a long hospital stay. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer at Woods & Woods understands the emotional distress caused by a serious injury.
If there are expected future expenses from your injury, they may be included in your FTCA lawsuits. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will investigate if you are owed any future monies for your injury. An example of future expenses would be foreseeable medical care needed. Many injuries require years of rehabilitation or other extended medical treatment program.
FAQ: FTCA Lawsuits
Can an individual sue the federal government?
Yes. Since 1946, individuals have been able to sue the federal government. If a government employee was acting within the scope of their job or on behalf of the federal government, you may sue. The FTCA allows individuals specifically to sue for the negligence of federal employees.
How long do I have to file FTCA lawsuits after an injury?
Injured victims have two years from the date of the injury to file under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The federal government agency has six months to investigate the injury and try to reach a settlement. The plaintiff may file a lawsuit in the U.S. Federal District Court if the agency does not investigate or reach a settlement. The Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit will then be decided by a judge.
Can active-duty military members file FTCA lawsuits?
Yes. Military members regularly tell us they can’t file FTCA lawsuits because they are currently active-duty. That is not true. You can file FTCA lawsuits as long as you were hurt doing something that was not related to your job. In other words, you cannot file FTCA lawsuits if the injury happened as a result of your direct military responsibilities.
How do I file FTCA lawsuits?
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) lawsuits are filed by submitting a Standard Form 95. We highly suggest you talk with a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer before you file this form! If you do not specify the amount of damages, your form will be considered incomplete and therefore invalid. Calculating monetary damages is an art practiced by FTCA attorneys.
If I’m disabled from the injury, can I receive SSDI benefits?
Potentially. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer should investigate into other avenues of help. If you can no longer work from your injury, you might be entitled to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. You will need to meet all the SSDI requirements. You will not automatically be granted SSDI benefits because you were injured by a government employee.
FAQ: Hiring a Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer
What will my Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer do?
Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer is going to be your advocate throughout the legal process. They will get all of your medical records and evidence needed to win your FTCA lawsuits. They may subpoena witnesses and the defendant. All government forms will be handled by your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer as well. Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will also handle all the settlement negotiations. If there is a trial, your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will present your case to the court for you.
What is the first step to getting a FTCA lawsuit attorney?
The first step to obtaining a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer is a free legal consultation. We can discuss your injuries and how they happened to you. We’ll do an initial review of your potential FTCA lawsuits and see what is the best course of action to take.
Does it cost to find out if I have a FTCA lawsuit?
No. During your free legal consultation, you will learn about your case’s strengths and weaknesses. There is a possibility your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer tells you there isn’t a case. You’ll get an honest opinion of your FTCA lawsuits during your free legal consultation.
How much does a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer cost?
Your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will charge a contingency fee. That means you only pay if your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer wins your FTCA lawsuits. During your FTCA lawsuits, your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer will cover all the costs associated with your case. Fees paid to your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyers are limited by law.
Do I pay my FTCA lawsuits attorney if we lose?
No. If your FTCA lawsuits are not successful, you pay your Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer nothing. If your FTCA lawsuits are not successful, you do not pay your case expenses either.
Talk to a Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer for Free
Since 1985, Woods & Woods has protected the rights of injured and disabled people. Our dedicated and experienced lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients. We have fought the government and major corporations for everyday people for decades.
We know going through an injury is a difficult time in your life. Our law firm is proud to help people through these tough times. The staff at Woods & Woods is compassionate and we truly care about our clients. Many of our staff members have gone through serious injuries with their own family members and understand the pain involved.
Reach out to a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer at Woods & Woods if you need help. There is never a fee associated with legal consultations. We want you to explore your legal options. Ask all the questions your have and we’ll answer them. Find out if you have a case and learn how to protect your legal rights. You should always talk to a Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer before talking to the other side’s lawyers.