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Making A Claim For Injury Against A Federal Agency

Indianapolis Federal Agency Lawsuit Attorney

Generally, personal injury law suits can be filed and litigated in state court. A minor factual difference can change your state suit into a federal suit; for example, a slip and fall at a local diner is very different than a slip and fall at the post office. If your injury is caused by a federal employee or federal agency, where you can file a lawsuit will likely depend on certain factual circumstances.

Federal Tort Claims Act

The FTCA is legislation that provides individuals injured by federal employees a way to sue and recover for their injuries. Under the FTCA, federal employees are protected from litigation stemming from their acts while acting on behalf of the government; however, the United Stated takes the place of the employee as defendant. The United States district courts are granted exclusive jurisdiction of personal injury claims caused by federal employees, thus you will be subject to federal court procedure rules. 

Circumstances

For the FTCA to apply, the injury must be “caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment.” 28 U.S.C.A. § 1346. “The United States is generally liable to the same extent as other property owners for personal injuries to invitees on federal property.” Gonzalez v. United States.

For example, a car accident caused by someone in their personal vehicle who happens to be an off duty postal worker, will not qualify for purposes of FTCA. Though in Schwartzman v. Carmen, the plaintiffs were allowed to pursue a case under FTCA when an illegally parked mail truck caused their accident.

In Gonzalez v. United States, a patron was injured at the post office due to the dangerous system of ropes used to guide those waiting in line. The court explained, “Personal injuries at post offices resulting from negligence of federal employees are precisely the kind of ‘run-of-the-mine accidents’ for which Congress intended to waive immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act.”

Process

Before filing a suit, an injured party must first file a claim with the involved federal agency. This claim must be in writing and sent to the correct agency within two years. It must include a sum certain and evidence of the loss (i.e., narrative report(s) from a doctor(s), medical bills, and medical records). If the agency denies the claim, then a law suit may be initiated any time in the next six months. If a claim isn’t filed within six months of the denial it will be barred.

When filing the lawsuit, if you believe the federal employee was on duty and acting in within the scope of employment, the suit should be filed in federal court with United States named as a party.

If you are unsure or unaware if the federal employee was acting in this scope, the FTCA has granted the attorney general the ability to remove a state tort case to federal court. If the attorney general certifies that the employee was working at the time of the incident, the case will be removed to federal court though the injured party must still exhaust all administrative remedies before the case can be heard.

If you have been injured by a federal employee, a personal injury lawyer will help you file appropriately and navigate the tricky rules involved in make a Federal Tort Claim.

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FAQs
Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Case Worth

As a victim, establishing damages, negotiating with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit can be daunting and next to impossible without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. As a result, if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled under Indiana law.

Why Hire?

Choosing an attorney that has experience dealing with personal injury law is important to protect your legal rights. If you are trying to recover damages from a business or other type of organization, you can bet that they are going to have a legal team on their side.

Medical Bills

If you were injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help.

Recovery

After you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation. The type and amount of compensation depends on the injury, bills, the cause of the injury, negligence/bad faith of the defendant, etc. The attorney you retain can also heavy influence your recovery through knowledge, experience, and dedication. Legal terms and phrases can be confusing even after you retain an attorney. If you have been injured, you may wonder how much your case is worth or what your “damages” are. The worse the injuries, the higher the value of the case and the greater need for an experienced attorney