Sometimes, you can file a lawsuit against the federal government if you suffer injuries caused by the carelessness of an employee. Certain limitations, exceptions, and procedures apply, compared to if you filed a lawsuit against a non-government entity. An injury attorney in Richmond, VA can examine your case details and advise you on what course of action to follow, as well as the likelihood of you winning the case.
Sovereign immunity is a legal concept that often prevents people from suing federal government employees. Essentially, this concept rules that the sovereign government is exempt from responsibility and cannot be found liable in court. Nonetheless, a common way for people to circumvent this doctrine is to follow the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) that exists in many states. Typically, the FTCA is meant to offer financial compensation for property loss, injuries, or fatalities resulting from the negligence of any government employees, but this act is constrained by a lot of conditions.
The careless act needs to have been carried out during the accused’s employment duties, and only employees of the federal government can be tried through the FTCA, not third-party, independent contractors. The claim must reflect the state laws where the incident happened. Typically, only negligence claims are permitted, rather than claims relating to deliberate misconduct (although deliberate misconduct claims can be made against some federal police officers).
Despite these restrictions governing FTCA lawsuits, millions of dollars are still paid out every year by the federal government to victims of such negligence. Therefore, if you believe your claim might be valid, it could be worth pursuing.
If a government employee fails to observe an acceptable duty of care, the accuser must demonstrate that they were performing their normal job role when the lapse occurred. If they were partaking in a leisure activity or doing something that did not fall within their official role, you might have to file a lawsuit against the accused person directly. Nonetheless, if they were carrying out a duty that is specified in their job description, you have fulfilled this criterion.
In addition, you must demonstrate that the employee’s carelessness resulted in your injury. This is known as demonstrating causation. If you have been injured due to something aside from the employee’s carelessness, you cannot expect the government to compensate you. Notwithstanding, if your injuries have arisen from the employee’s failure to do their duty, you are entitled to sue the government for damages.
Often, there are stringent time limits imposed for bringing injury lawsuits against the local or state government. In some jurisdictions, you must file your lawsuit within one month of your injuries. In other jurisdictions though, you might be granted two, three, or four months to make such a claim. In lots of states, the time limits for claims against towns or cities differ from those used for claims against states or state agencies.