The U.S. government was set up to help Americans but oftentimes, it is the very organization that causes harm. If you were injured due to the negligence of a government official or entity, you may have the right to compensation. With the government literally in our backyards, DC residents have high exposure to federal institutions.
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A claim against the U.S. government is intimidating, but the Washington, DC federal tort claims litigation lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC will stand up for your rights against the federal government. Having legal counsel on your side allows you to concentrate on your health with the confidence that your personal injury lawyer is protecting your best interests. Call for a free consultation with an expert attorney who will work diligently to secure the compensation the government owes you.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is legislation that was enacted in 1946 and allows private citizens to sue and recover monetary damages for torts committed by a federal employee acting on behalf of the United States government. Let’s quickly break that down:
A tort is a wrongful act or infringement of someone’s rights that can be litigated in a civil lawsuit. Civil lawsuits are cases that usually involve two individuals disputing negligence and duties owed to each other. For example, in a regular personal injury case, if you are injured in a car accident on the Capital Beltway due to a distracted driver, you have the right to file a claim against the driver for negligence and recover compensation for your injuries. The other driver’s duty to you (and the rest of the travelers on the road) was to keep his sole attention focused on driving. The fact that he allowed himself to get distracted by his phone is negligence. The tort is his negligence and you would file a civil lawsuit to collect monetary damages to cover the expenses for any injuries you sustained.
Now let’s apply the same situation, but change the negligent party to someone working for the federal government. Let’s say that the same distracted driver on the Capital Beltway was a federal government employee who was driving a government vehicle at the time of the accident. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows you to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the government employee and recover damages for the injuries you sustained in the crash because of the wrongful or negligent act.
Anyone who suffered property damage or a personal injury caused by a negligent or wrongful act of a government employee can file a federal tort claim. It is important to note, however, that the government employee must have been working within the scope of his or her official governmental duties at the time of the accident to file a federal tort claim.
For example, if a postal worker sideswiped your car while making deliveries, you may have a claim against the U.S. Postal Service for monetary damages for your injuries and personal property. However, if the postal worker was off-duty and driving their car when the sideswipe occurred, you would not have a claim against the federal government. The postal worker has to be on the clock and performing the duties related to their government job to make a claim against the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Because of the strict rules regarding suing the United States government, a Federal tort claim can become complicated very quickly. Many different parties may be involved. Submission paperwork must be handed in correctly and on time and there are limitations to what the average citizen can sue the United States government. The Regan Zambri Long federal tort claim act lawyers can help you navigate the claims process.
The United States government is massive and like any private organization, it won’t back down easily to a lawsuit. We will make sure you have solid representation and that your voice will be heard. There is no reason you should foot the bill for someone else’s negligence, especially if that person is acting in the scope of his or her official duties as a government employee. The Regan Zambri Long attorneys will relentlessly fight for the compensation you deserve.
The process of filing a federal tort claim is lengthy. In a regular personal injury lawsuit, you would be able to file a claim against another person or company directly. You must show that you were injured by a federal government employee who was acting negligently in the scope of their official duties. However, when federal employees are involved, there are additional steps you have to take:
Since the federal government has many different organizations within it, you have to file a claim with the specific branch that caused your injury. For example, if you sustained an injury at a VA hospital, then you would file your claim with the Veterans Health Administration. The easiest way to file this claim is by using Standard Form 95 (SF95). Make sure to fill this form out within two years of your injury. Examples of various agencies you can file a claim against are:
There are many more federal agencies that are subject to lawsuits if they acted negligently. Call a Regan Zambri Long FTCA lawyer today for a free consultation to discuss your claim and all your legal options.
In the administrative claim, you must provide documentation establishing all facts surrounding your case so the federal agency can investigate. You also must ask for the exact amount of money you want to recover. Here at Regan Zambri Long, our federal tort claim litigation lawyers know you should never lowball your claim against the U.S. government. Once you submit the SF95, you will not be able to go back and ask for more money. Your Regan Zambri Long tort claim lawyer will walk you through the SF95 form and request the maximum amount of compensation.
Once you file your SF95, the agency you are making your claim against has six months to reply. There are two possible outcomes:
You have six months from the day you receive the agency’s response to file a lawsuit against them. If the agency denies your claim or if they are not offering enough money, do not delay in filing your lawsuit. If a deadline is missed, your suit could be dismissed as untimely. Do not let that worry you – our tort claims lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will prepare a rock-solid lawsuit and will manage the timeline of submission.
A: The Federal Tort Claims Act only allows you to sue the federal government. However, several states use the FTCA as a model and private citizens can sue their state governments. In Washington DC, you have six months to file a claim from the date of the incident.
A: There is no single estimate of how long a federal tort claims case will take to settle. You have two years to file a claim from when the accident or injury took place. That may seem like a long window, but the rules around the FTCA are substantial and limiting. The paperwork you need to file your claim could take the time of a part-time job and one mistake could cost you your claim. You should speak to a Regan Zambri Long federal tort claim lawyer right away to begin the process. We will ensure all the paperwork is filed correctly and on time and we will handle all correspondence. While we do our job, you will have the time to focus on a full recovery from your injuries.
A: Yes, the FTCA covers medical malpractice when you are treated at a federally funded hospital or clinic. Many federally funded health clinics are covered by FTCA Malpractice Coverage, which is an insurance policy for government health care workers and offices. If you were treated at a federally funded VA hospital and suffered an injury from a medical error, you have the right to file a claim against the medical personnel. The Federal Tort Claims Act gives you the right to do so. Your Regan Zambri Long tort claim attorney will help you navigate the claims process, making sure a thorough investigation is done and you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
A: The Federal Tort Claims Act is very complex, which is why a Regan Zambri Long tort claim attorney is essential for legal advocacy. Independent contractors who are hired by the government do not fall under the FTCA unless they are treated as employees. The act of negligence has to fall under the scope of the government worker’s employment. Otherwise, the FTCA will not apply to your case.
A: The damages you can recover in a federal tort claim reflect the damages allowed for personal injuries in your District or State. In Washington DC, the damages recoverable from a personal injury lawsuit are:
Washington, DC also allows claimants to collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to claimants, not to compensate them, but to punish the defendant whose actions are considered grossly negligent or intentional. However, in federal tort claims, the United States government is protected from being sued for punitive damages. Once you submit a claim asking for a certain amount of damages, you cannot increase that amount at any point during the process. The Regan Zambri Long federal tort claim lawyers will make sure you ask for ample compensation so all current and future bills associated with your injury will be fully covered.
A: The FTCA lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have a deep knowledge of federal and local laws in Washington DC. For anyone without a law degree, a personal injury claim can seem daunting, but we guarantee you are in the best hands at Regan Zambri Long. The first thing that will happen is a free consultation. Our lawyers will discuss your situation and give you their expert legal advice on whether you have a winning claim or not. If you choose to file a claim past that conversation, they will be with you every step of the way. The paperwork, correspondence, investigations, and building a winning case that will secure you the maximum amount of compensation will all be taken care of by your attorney.
Sustaining an injury, especially one that keeps you out of work for some time, is incredibly stressful to an individual and their families. Medical bills pile up quickly and if you are losing wages due to your injury, the financial distress can be frightening. Allow the Regan Zambri Long lawyers to bear the burden of the claims process so you and your family can focus on a full recovery and getting back to normal as soon as possible. Our lawyers only receive a fee if a settlement or verdict is reached in your favor. Call today for a free consultation so we can get to work on securing the compensation that is owed to you.