Believe it or not, you can sue the federal government. If a government agency or employee does something that injures you due to negligence, you may be able to file a civil suit claim. However, it is not the same as filing a lawsuit against another civilian. It’s incredibly difficult to sue the federal government because of what is called sovereign immunity. This is a long-standing principle under common law that says that civilians cannot sue the government.
This is so that you don’t have every civilian in the United States trying to sue the government, stalling the government’s ability to do its job. But as we said, there are special circumstances where you can sue the government. These are outlined by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), and if you’ve never heard of this, the personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. can explain.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a United States federal law that permits private parties to sue the federal government. Civilians can bring their case to a federal court for acts committed by agents acting on behalf of the federal government. The FTCA was passed in 1946, and has since provided a limited loophole around the federal government’s sovereign immunity. This is limited specifically to when government employees are negligent within the scope of their employment.
Under the FTCA, the government can be sued “under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.” In layman’s terms, this means that if the United States were a private person and would be responsible for the act someone is filing against them, then it will treated as so now.
It’s important to note, however, that the FTCA includes a number of exceptions where the government is still immune from a lawsuit. This includes:
The FTCA also requires that a claimant exhaust all administrative remedies with the appropriate federal agency before filing a lawsuit. This means that you must first file a claim with the federal agency responsible for your injury. Then only if the agency denies your claim or fails to respond in a timely manner can you file a lawsuit.
Tort is a legal term to reference a wrongful act or infringement of someone else’s rights. It’s an easier way to describe acts that hurt people out of negligence.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows people to sue the federal government when a wrongful act or negligence by a federal employee on duty causes injury, death, or property damage. Here are some examples:
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of a federal employee, it’s crucial to have experienced attorneys by your side. At Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., our skilled personal injury attorneys are adept at navigating the complexities of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). We can consult on your case, help you understand if you can use the FTCA to sue the federal government, and guide you through the rigorous legal processes involved.
We want to ensure you are aware of all of your options so you can take care of yourself and your family after your ijnury. Not even the federal government should be able to leave you injured without the means to help yourself. Contact us today for more information.