If you are the victim of an injury that is the fault of a US federal employee in the United States you can bring a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Suing the federal government under the FTCA involves an administrative process as well as a lawsuit in federal court.
Under the Feres doctrine, active-duty service members and their families are barred from recovery for injuries to the active-duty service member that occur incident to his or her service. Injuries to civilians, dependents and retirees are not barred. The Feres doctrine applies to the FTCA.
Under the FTCA you must file a claim to the appropriate federal agency and allow six months for the agency to investigate it. A claimant can file by using a federal form, the Standard Form 95, and you must set forth the details of the injuries and the resulting damages, you must indicate a specific dollar amount and you must sign the claim form.
FTCA claims can sometimes be resolved administratively without ever filing suit in federal court, sparing significant litigation expenses for discovery, expert witness fees and depositions. Attorney’s fees at the administrative stage under the FTCA are capped at 20 percent of any recovery. If suit is filed under the FTCA, then the cap is 25 percent.
The FTCA has a two-year statute of limitations. Under the FTCA if the federal agency denies the claim, a federal lawsuit must be brought within six months of written notice of denial sent by registered or certified mail. Under the FTCA, after six months has transpired, if the federal agency has not made a final decision on the claim, the claimant can then file a law suit.
The FTCA has many additional complicated legal aspects that could potentially result in your claim being denied and/or your lawsuit being dismissed. The MillerMasciola Law firm will guide you through this complicated legal arena with professional expertise.