Federal Government Injuries

How are federal injury cases different?

A personal injury case is a legal action for someone who is injured against the person or entity that caused the injury. But what if the entity or person responsible was part of the United States government? In those situations, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), and other federal laws, may govern. I have experience with FTCA claims and handle them for injured victims nationwide.

Some of the more common FTCA claims include medical malpractice at Veterans Administration (VA) or government hospitals and automobile collisions involving military or U.S. Postal Service vehicles.

Handling a FTCA case is quite different than negotiating a claim against an insurance company or private defendant. The rules governing FTCA claims are a unique mix of federal and state laws.

  • In the FTCA, you start by submitting a claim (and your medical records) to the agency responsible for your injury. The agency has time to review the claim then either deny it or make a settlement offer.
  • If your claim is denied or the settlement offer is not good enough, then you can file a lawsuit in federal court. At that point, the FTCA claim becomes more like a traditional lawsuit, with pleadings, discovery, and ultimately trial. Like most private cases, many FTCA claims settle before trial.

step by step

If you believe you may have an FTCA or other federal claim, be sure your injury lawyer actually knows the ins and outs of this unique area of law. I’ve been working on FTCA claims since before law school: in 2007, as a law clerk reviewing claims about Hurricane Katrina, and since 2014, as a lawyer working on FTCA claims nationwide.

If you or someone you know was injured by an agent of the federal government, contact me. I can help.