Claims Against the Government

When the Federal Government or Its Employees Cause Injury, We Fight Back

The Federal Tort Claims Act provides that the United States may be sued in federal court for negligence committed by a federal employee whose conduct injures a private individual.  Prior to enactment of the Federal Court Claims Act, the United States was immune from private suits by individuals.

What Type of Claims May Be Brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act?

A tort is an action for a civil wrong, in which one person sustains damages or injuries due to another.  As an example, if a person slips and falls in a Federal building as the result of negligence, the injured person may be able to bring a claim under the FTCA.  Similarly, if a person is hit by a United States Postal Service mail truck, the person may also be able to bring a claim under the FTCA.

Not All Actions Committed by the Federal Government or Its Employees are Actionable.

Three common types of claims that usually cannot be brought under the FTCA include:

  • Injuries sustained by military personnel in connection with their service (this is known as the Feres doctrine),
  • Injuries resulting from policy decisions, and
  • Injuries resulting from intentional torts, such as assaults, unless committed by federal law enforcement or investigative officials.

FTCA Time Limitations

The FTCA provides that an action must be brought within two years after the claim accrues.  In general, a claim will have said to “accrue” when a person first has knowledge that a wrong has been committed.

A claim must be brought within this two year time period, otherwise it will be barred.  As a result, as soon as you have knowledge that you may have a claim, you should immediately contact a Michigan FTCA lawyer.  This will ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

The FTCA Claims Process

The process for bringing a claim against the United States government is different than bringing a claim against an individual or entity in a typical civil case.  The claimant must first make a filing the appropriate federal agency responsible for the employee or facility concerning the claim, and such agency then may approve or deny the claim.  If the claim is denied, an individual then has six months from the date of denial in which to bring the claim in Federal court.

The FTCA Claims Process is a Procedurally Precise Process

The rules and regulations concerning FTCA actions are very precise, and have a number of complex regulations concerning exactly where a case must be brought, the forms that must be completed and filed, and timing requirements.  If the rules and regulations are not followed exactly and within the time periods specified, a claim may be lost, as there usually is no opportunity to “re-do” the claim.

If You Have an FTCA Claim, It is Critical to Seek an Experienced FTCA Lawyer to Ensure that Your Rights are Preserved.

Our firm is knowledgeable about the process and procedures for filing FTCA claims.  If you have an FTCA claim, please call us at your earliest convenience so that we can meet with you and explain the FTCA process and how we can represent you in seeking recovery for your injuries and damages.