If you are injured due to someone else’s misconduct, you can sue to recuperate from the damages incurred. But what happens if the negligent party is a government employee?
You can still file a lawsuit to get compensation for the incurred damages; however, it can be a long and tedious process. In this short read, you will see when you can sue the government for damages due to negligence and the laws that apply. You will also understand when the government is liable.
Sovereign immunity is a section of federal law that prevents citizens from suing the government without its consent. It has its roots deep within the British monarchy, when the king was perceived incapable of criminality.
In 1946, US lawmakers passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) into law, which meant that under specific circumstances, people could sue the government due to injuries, loss of property, or wrongful death.
Typically, sovereign immunity applies to federal and state governments, not municipalities. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, federal and state governments can waive their sovereign immunity, paving the way for lawsuits.
Who is eligible to file a claim under FTCA?
Under FTCA, individuals, businesses, or any other entities with claims for money damages for personal injury or property loss caused by a government agency can sue for compensation.
Requirements for filing a claim under FTCA
FTCA claims are typically filed using Standard Form 95. While using this document is not a requirement, you should note that the claim contains several factors for it to be valid. They are listed below:
- Your authorized legal representative’s signature
- Enough data for an investigation into the claim
- A specified monetary demand amount
- The claim must be filed within two years of the incident
Claims Applicable under FTCA
Below are some examples of claims that can be filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act:
- A pedestrian that was struck and injured by a US postal truck
- A patient that was injured while undergoing a clinic in a government-funded clinic
- A birth injury at a military hospital
These are only a few examples. You should note that the FTCA’s scope is wide and encompasses many injuries.
Information submitted along with your claim
While filing your claim, you also need to submit enough supporting evidence. This might include, but is not limited to, proof of property ownership, police reports, medical records, receipts of expenses incurred, and doctors’ statements.
The FTCA allows individuals to hold the government accountable for its actions under specific circumstances. The process is often long and tedious and involves a lot of tiresome procedures.
Hence, it is best to contact your attorney to find out if you have a claim against the government or a federal employee. “You should reach out to an attorney with sufficient knowledge of FTCA and its guidelines,” says Attorney Russell J. Berkowitz of Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.
Your attorney can determine whether you have enough evidence to substantiate your claim. Also, if you have suffered injuries, your attorney can handle the tedious court processes, allowing you to focus on recovery.