The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals to sue the United States government for injuries or damages that were caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of government employees. This is important because the government is typically immune to lawsuits per the Sovereign Immunity doctrine.
The FTCA is a complex area of law. There are strict procedures and timelines that a claimant must follow. As shown below, mistakes can jeopardize one’s claim. For example, there are notice requirements and associated deadlines. Failure to follow the process could result in the claim being lost forever.
Accordingly, if you believe your physical injuries arose from negligence within the government or because of a negligent government employee, an FTCA attorney may be able to help. Ketterer, Brown & Associates, LLC can help veterans and servicemembers’ familiars with medical malpractice claims in particular. You deserve to know your rights, so let an FTCA claims lawyer provide guidance in your case.
Establishing a Successful FTCA Claim
Veterans must take a number of steps to succeed with an FTCA claim. Generally, these claims are only viable when they establish four specific elements. An FTCA claims attorney can ensure each of these elements is met.
First, a veteran must be able to show that they were injured by the actions of a federal employee – like an accusation of malpractice if the government deviated from the “standard of care.” Put simply, the standard of care is the reasonable degree of care, attention, diligence, a typical person in the profession would exercise under similar circumstances. The critical issue is that the damage resulted directly from the acts or omissions of a government employee.
Second, there must be evidence that the federal employee was acting within the scope of their employment, or role. That means a federal employee who was acting in their own interests may not face an FTCA claim. For example, a Veterans Administration worker who was involved in a car accident while driving their personal vehicle might not lead to a viable FTCA claim if they were on a personal errand.
Third, there must be evidence of negligence. One way to think about negligence is: doing something a reasonably prudent, safe, person would not do or failing to do something a reasonably safe person would do in the situation. While a viable claim can result from a careless or reckless act, an unavoidable accident by a federal employee is not enough to result in a viable FTCA claim.
Finally, there must be a connection between the damage that occurred and the act of negligence, or causation. The link between damage that occurs and the negligent act that caused it is an important part of a successful claim, given that the federal government will not provide compensation for unrelated acts, omissions, or damages.
Causation is usually the battleground in personal injury cases and why an experienced attorney can be of significant assistance. Defendants will point to co-morbidities and other alternative causes or minimize the injuries. Thus, attorneys like those at KBA attorneys who can retain qualified expert witnesses, who understand the interplay between legal and medical theories, and who can develop trial-worthy evidence such as computer animations are worth speaking with to explore your options.
Settling Claims with the Government
The FTCA permits lawsuits against the government in some situations. It permits, really encourages, settlements considering the procedural hoops involved.
Settlements are often favorable for plaintiffs. They may avoid the cost and stress of litigation and trial. They also minimize the risks that come with each.
Settlement agreements also allow the government agency to retain some control over the outcome of the tort claim. Nonetheless, the government will not always offer settlements, especially if the claim is not presented well. An FTCA veterans claims attorney may work to resolve a case by negotiating with the federal government in order to put as little stress on the claimant as possible.
Contact an FTCA Claims Attorney Right Away
The FTCA provides those injured by certain negligent acts or omissions the ability to seek compensation. If you are a military veteran, this is incredibly important if you were exposed to negligent care at the VA or some other agency; the FTCA extends well beyond Veterans. That said, securing a favorable outcome in these cases is not easy. If you are considering a claim, now is the time to seek the legal counsel of KBA Attorneys. Call an FTCA claims lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.