In its early history, the federal government subscribed to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Consequently, victims who sustained injuries or damage caused by the actions or negligence of a federal officer or employee could not sue the federal government to recover those damages.
That changed in 1946 when Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
Formed as the basis for bringing lawsuits against the federal government, the FTCA generally allows plaintiffs to recover the same personal injury damages against the federal government that they would against a private entity. This means you can recover:
However, some areas differ from other types of personal injury law. First, you cannot recover punitive damages against the federal government (the public entity itself) — only against the federal employee who was negligent or committed the injuring act. Also, the federal government is allowed to pay awards of over $500,000 over 10 years.
It’s important to know that there are exceptions to the FTCA that protect government entities and employees in particular situations, such as claims arising in foreign countries, certain claims arising from the actions of law enforcement, claims against the Tennessee Valley Authority, and claims concerning the imposition of a quarantine.
A few additional issues you should take into consideration include:
Filing a lawsuit against a federal entity in a U.S. district court is a complex process and requires significant attention to detail and an in-depth understanding of federal law.
Contact Shrader, Mendez & O’Connell, Attorneys at Law, at (813) 360-1529 to discuss your claim and get advice about moving forward after an injury or incident.
Posted in Personal Injury
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