Fort Lauderdale Federal Tort Claims Act Attorney
The team at Colson Hicks Eidson has a long history of serving as lead and co-counsel for high-profile lawsuits over the last several decades. Our attorneys regularly handle cases in Florida and throughout the United States. We are dedicated to helping those injured in the course of their duties while working for the federal government. The Federal Tort Claims Act attorneys at our firm handle Fort Lauderdale cases and are standing by to help you secure the compensation and justice you deserve.
Understanding the purpose of the Federal Tort Claims Act
The US Congress passed the Federal Torts Claims Act (FCTA) in 1946. This law was necessary to allow for certain lawsuits against the federal government by federal employees who are injured while acting within the scope of their duties or on behalf of the government. This law was necessary because, in most circumstances, the federal government cannot be sued unless they give their express permission allowing a suit. This is called the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
How does a Federal Tort Claims Act process start?
To process of filing a lawsuit against the federal government was not made easier by FCTA. For a lawsuit against the government to be successful, there are certain guidelines concerning personal injury and wrongful death claims that must be followed. This process is quite different than the rules applied to standard torts claims. An attorney who specializes in Federal Torts Claims will be able to guide you through this process.
- You must file these claims within two years from the time the injury occurs.
- There are local statutes that could limit this time frame.
Step one is to file an administrative claim against the agency responsible for your injuries. When this claim is filed, the agency in question has six months under the law to respond. When they do respond, they can:
- Accept the claim and pay some or all of the damages you requested, or
- Reject your claim and refuse to pay the damages you believe you are entitled to.
If your claim is rejected, you then have another six months to file a lawsuit against that agency. Your attorney will work to investigate all aspects of your case at this point, ensuring your case is fully prepared to go to trial if necessary.
FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS: IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS
Historically, it has been difficult for members of the military to leverage the FCTA to seek compensation for injuries they may have sustained. This is due to the “Feres doctrine,” which has generally prevented members of the armed forces from taking legal action against the government if said members were injured while on active duty.
However, there are some exceptions to the Feres doctrine that have arisen in recent years. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 has established that a member of the military or their family can potentially file a claim or sue the government “for personal injury or death incident to the service of a member of the uniformed services that was caused by the medical malpractice of a Department of Defense health care provider” under the condition that the “act or omission constituting medical malpractice occurred in a covered military medical treatment facility.”
Additionally, although members of the armed forces themselves may have limited means of applying the FCTA for injuries sustained while in active duty, if a child or other such family member is harmed in a military hospital or other such setting, a member of the armed forces can file a claim or lawsuit on their behalf.
These are challenging topics to understand and navigate if you lack the proper legal training. Don’t worry if you’re unsure of whether you have the option of filing a claim or lawsuit using the FCTA. A Fort Lauderdale Federal Tort Claims Act attorney can review your case and explain what your legal options may be.
For example, there is sometimes a “gray area” in regard to whether active-duty military personnel can submit claims. It’s sometimes possible to submit a claim if it can be demonstrated that the injury a victim sustained was the result of an accident that does not relate to a victim’s direct responsibilities.
Let us get to work on your claim today
The process of filing a claim to recover compensation from the Federal government can be very intimidating. It can also be very complicated. If you do not follow the steps properly, there is a relatively strong chance you will encounter difficulties attempting to recover what you may deserve.
This is not meant to discourage you from taking legal action if you have a valid reason to do so. It is to strongly encourage you to enlist the help of a Fort Lauderdale Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer when filing a claim. You will benefit immensely from the assistance of someone who specializes in handling these cases, giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing an experienced professional is handling all administrative tasks. This also allows you to prioritize your recovery during what can be a very challenging time of your life.
When you turn to Colson Hicks Eidson, you are turning to a trusted team with a track record of success throughout the United States. We know that this process can seem tedious, but it is worth it if you get the compensation you deserve. When we take your case, we will thoroughly investigate your claims and work towards holding negligent parties accountable. You deserve to be compensated for what happened to you. Let our Federal Torts Claims Act attorneys who handle cases in Fort Lauderdale look at your case today so you can secure the economic and non-economic damages you are owed. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at 305-476-7400.