Federal Tort Claims are claims against the Federal Government for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death. They are made pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, which was created to allow individuals to sue the United States Government for money damages arising out of instances in which government employees, in the scope of their employment, are negligent and cause harm to another. For example, claims against a doctor at a VA hospital who commits malpractice, or a government employee negligently driving a government vehicle and causing a crash, would be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Incidents that give rise to Federal Tort Claims are as varied as those brought in the private sector and can include:
Federal Tort Claims differ from a private claim in how they must be pursued. Federal law requires that an administrative claim be filed with the appropriate agency. Should this claim be denied, then there is a limited time in which an individual may file a lawsuit in federal court. In addition, certain other procedures must be followed, such as serving a copy of the lawsuit on the appropriate United States Attorney and the Attorney General. In addition, Federal Tort Claims filed in court are decided by a federal judge, and not by a jury.
The procedural nuances of these claims alone are reason enough to obtain legal assistance. Failure to follow proper procedure can lead to your claim being permanently denied, leaving you no recourse for your injury.
At Shapero | Roloff we have handled many Federal Tort Claims against a number of agencies. If you have been injured, we would be happy to discuss whether you have a claim against the government.