Federal Tort Claims Act

Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere at any time. Slip and falls at the post office, the local museum, or any other similar location happen just as often as at the movie theater or the local bank. If you happen to have an accident at a property owned and maintained by the federal government, you can still recover, but there are different procedures and laws that you have to attend to compared to other types of slips and falls or accidents.

Under the terms of the 1946 Federal Tort Claims Act, the federal government is liable in the case of negligence from on-the-job behavior of a federal employee that causes an injury to a third person. Under the terms of the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Federal Government is liable for the same acts or omissions as a private actor in the same circumstances, except it is not liable for punitive damages or interest prior to the entry of the judgment. The Plaintiff has a two-year statute of limitation but has an additional requirement, insofar that they must file suit in Federal Court within six months after the federal government mails the notice of final denial of the claim in issue, barring exceptional circumstances.

As with other state-based tort claim acts, you must put the federal government on notice of your intent to seek recovery under the federal tort claims act. The Plaintiff must file a claim against the applicable agency, seeking a specific sum of money. If the government approves it, there is no need to go to court. If and when the federal government denies it, you have six months to file suit in federal court. In the alternative, if the federal government fails to respond for six months, you can file suit in federal court. Most federal agencies use standard form 95 when seeking to file a claim with the federal government. You must name the United States as one of the Defendants. Sometimes Plaintiffs will seek to avoid going to federal court in cases where the sole basis for federal jurisdiction is that a federal employee allegedly caused an automobile accident while in the line of duty. The Plaintiff will file suit in state court naming just the driver as the liable party and avoid naming the United States. In those cases, the case will be removed from the state court to federal court, as the federal government must defend and indemnify their employees.

If you or a loved one were harmed in an automobile accident by a federal employee acting in the line of their employment, or suffered a slip and fall at a federally-owned and maintained building, you need an aggressive law firm to ensure that all of the legal deadlines and other requirements are timely met. The attorneys at Napoli, Shkolnik, PLLC understand these obligations and will work with you obtain the best recovery possible. You can fill out our online contact information form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible, or you can reach us directly by calling 212-397-1000.