The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows private citizens to file lawsuits against federal employees who were operating within the duties of their job when the victim suffered an injury. If you believe you have a claim for negligence against either a federal agency or an employee of that agency, your first step is to determine if you can sue the federal government in accordance with the FTCA.
There are many details, limitations and exceptions that will factor into your case. In general, here are a few of the guidelines of which you should be aware:
- You are only allowed to sue actual employees of the federal government under the FTCA. Lawsuits against independent contractors hired by the federal government are not allowed under the law, unless they are treated as employees by the agency in question.
- The specific wrongful or negligent conduct leading to the lawsuit must have occurred in the scope of the defendant’s work with the federal government.
- Only negligence claims are allowed under the FTCA. Intentional misconduct cases are almost never allowed, except against federal law enforcement officers in some circumstances.
- The FTCA claim must be based on — and allowed by — laws in the state in which the alleged incident of misconduct occurred. California does allow these claims.
Each year, the government pays out millions of dollars in FTCA claim compensation. Therefore, if you believe you have a valid claim, it’s worth exploring a lawsuit. After you have determined your eligibility, you will need to file an administrative claim, which has several complicated processes and rules.
To learn more about your eligibility for an FTCA claim and how you might proceed, work with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.