If a government worker or agency is responsible for a person’s injury, that injured individual may be entitled to file a compensation claim against the government. Although there are some major exceptions to this rule, the government allows many types of injury claims against its own agencies. However, there are some differences in how these lawsuits may proceed when compared to other injury claims, and anyone considering legal action against the federal government should know these differences before taking action.
If you’re thinking about suing the government after an injury caused by a government agency or worker’s negligence, you should first consult with a legal advisor regarding the process involved and how to prepare your claim.
How Federal Tort Claims Work
The process for filing injury lawsuits against the government is set by a law known as the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This law establishes the following rules for permitted injury claims against the government:
- Any claims against the federal government must be filed within two years of the injury
- The claim should include any detailed information available on the injury or incident
- The claim should also include a full account of injury expenses the claimant is suing for
- Before the claim reaches court, the government will review the claim
- If the claim is disputed by the government, the claimant can then pursue a suit in court within six months of the claim rejection
This process may include more steps than the average personal injury lawsuit, making it more complicated for a claimant to handle. However, an experienced legal professional can help a claimant through their lawsuit, providing much-needed advice and representation.
Limitations in Claims against the Government
When a person is injured because of a government employee’s negligent conduct, that individual may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the responsible government agency for compensation. These claims go through a different system than claims made against private citizens however, as the government requires a special claims assessment process. In making these sort of claims, there are some instances in which an injured individual may not be able to sue at all, their claim being blocked by the government’s allowance on personal injury lawsuits.
When Are Claims Rejected by the Government?
The government has the right to refuse certain claims, as defined in the Federal Tort Claims Act. As such, the government cannot be sued in the following situations:
- Many claims of intentional misconduct, which may require another form of legal action
- Negligence that exceeds the employee’s scope of governmental duties
- Most claims brought against independent contractors instead of government employees
- Claims brought against the U.S. military by a service member
In some cases, these claims may be resolved through lawsuits against a party other than the government. For instance, claims brought against independent contractors are allowed, but should be filed against the contractors rather than the government agency that hired them.
An injury caused by a government employee’s negligent actions may leave you or someone you love in need of financial help due to overwhelming medical and injury-related expenses. Compensation may be available for these injuries, however. For more information about how we may be able to help you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the responsible government agency, contact the New York City personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today.