Can I Sue the Federal Government?

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 2:28pm by

Atlantic City Injury Attorneys Explain

A Brief History

In decades long since passed, any potential personal injury lawsuit against the United States was dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This legal doctrine exempted the federal government from being sued, even when government employees acted negligently. This policy changed in the middle of the 20th century.

In 1945, World War II was coming to a close. On a foggy day in October, an Army B-25 lost in the clouds crashed into the then-tallest building in the world, the Empire State Building. Fourteen people died, and several more were injured. The United States government offered money to the victim’s families for the loss, but it was a pitiful amount, and much less than the families could have won if a private citizen had caused the deaths of their loved ones.

Some of the families decided to sue the government for the wrongful deaths caused by an errant military employee. The Federal Torts Claims Act, which had until that time been festering in legislative limbo, was quickly passed by Congress, allowing the crash victims’ families to pursue (and eventually win) compensation from the federal government for their pain, suffering and monetary damages.

Can I Sue?

Under the Federal Torts Claims Act, you can sue the federal government if you suffered injuries due to the actions of certain government employees. The FTCA dictates that a lawsuit is a potential remedy in cases of:

“injury or loss of property, or personal injury or death 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, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.”

Since the original passage of the act, a wide variety of cases have been brought against the government under the provisions of the FTCA. Past lawsuits have concerned:

How Can I Start My Case?

It is possible to bring a case against the government on your own; however, you will not be on an even playing field without your own attorney. Additionally, there are strict deadlines you must meet or risk losing your claim. If you have been injured or harmed because of a federal employee’s negligence, the best thing to do is to contact an experienced Atlantic City injury lawyer. You can also fill out a free case evaluation to begin your fight for justice.