Understanding the Federal Tort Claim Act

There are many remedies available to individuals who are injured by another person, but what happens when the person who caused the injury is a government employee or even a federal employee? It is very difficult to seek recovery for an injury from a government entity or municipality due to the many immunities that are afforded to such entities. However, the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA) makes it easier to seek a remedy after being injured due to the actions of a federal employee. Because the process can be complex, it is always a good idea to seek the assistance of an Atlanta accident injury lawyer.

Federal Tort Claim Act

The FTCA was enacted to provide individuals with monetary compensation for injuries, wrongful death, damage to property and more that is caused by the negligent or wrongful act of a government employee taken while acting in their official governmental capacity. In order to have a valid FTCA claim, your circumstances must meet the following criteria:

  1. The injury or damage to property was caused by a federal employee.
  2. The employee was acting within the scope of his or her duties.
  3. The employee acted negligently or wrongfully.
  4. The negligent or wrongful act was the proximate cause of the injury or damage alleged.

Proving that all of these elements are present within your claim can be difficult, and you will be required to provide supporting documentation to back up any claims that you may make. This can be particularly difficult given that certain types of injuries and losses can be quite burdensome as well as difficult to document. An Atlanta accident injury lawyer can simplify the process immensely.

Filing a FTCA Claim

The process of filing an FTCA claim differs from the mechanics of a traditional lawsuit. Traditionally, you would file a suit with the court within the prescribed statute of limitations for your claim and go from there. However, with an FTCA claim, you must file an administrative claim with the government organization that was responsible for the injury and/or damage.

The process follow a strict timeline, and it is very important to make sure your claim is filed on time and handled properly from start to finish. The timeline should progress as follows:

  1. A claim must be made within two years after your injury. The exact day that a claim arises can be debatable, so it is best to file your administrative claim as soon as possible to avoid delay.
  2. The agency charged with the negligent or wrongful conduct has six months to respond to the claim. The agency will either agree that your claim is valid or deny your claim as invalid.
  3. If your claim is deemed invalid, you have six months to then file a lawsuit. Don’t wait until you receive an answer to file your lawsuit. If six months have passed and you have not yet received a response to your claim, file your lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a federal employee, you may have a valid claim against the government agency that employed the individual that caused the injury. Contact McAleer Law today for a free consultation with one of our expert accident lawyers in Atlanta.


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