If you have been in an accident that involved a government agency in any way, you may be unaware that you have legal recourse. Government negligence doesn’t mean you are just left with expensive medical bills and lost wages with no way to hold someone responsible for your accident. You may have a case under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
What Are Government Negligence Accidents?
There are numerous ways the government entities could cause injury or accidents. Here are a few examples:
- You walk into a U.S. Post Office and the floor is slick because someone was mopping and didn’t put up a sign. You slip and fall and break your arm.
- You are a veteran and you visit the Veteran’s Administration for medical care and the doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis. Your illness is not diagnosed until you have permanent damage.
- You are driving down the road and a car with no emergency lights runs a red light. You hit them and sustain numerous injuries. Then, you find out that this was a government vehicle.
There are many, many different cases of government negligence. These are just a few examples. In any case, if you are a victim, your legal recourse will likely be through a specific act.
The Federal Tort Claims Act
“Under the FTCA, the federal government acts as a self-insurer, and recognizes liability for the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its employees acting within the scope of their official duties. The United States is liable to the same extent an individual would be in like circumstances. The statute substitutes the United States as the defendant in such a suit and the United States – not the individual employee – bears any resulting liability.”
In other words, if you are injured because of a federal employee, you must sue the government. You cannot pursue a case against that employee specifically. This sounds simple enough, but it isn’t. In fact, despite the clear words of the act itself, there are different hoops you will have to jump through to even build a case against the government. The FTCA is designed to protect people who have been harmed because of negligence on the government’s part, but it means you will have to satisfy a number of different state and federal law requirements. It isn’t an easy case to pursue.
Understanding What to Do
It is simple. You cannot pursue a government negligence case on your own or with a subpar attorney. There are too many laws and too many legal speed bumps to hire just any lawyer you come across. You could end up with injuries or damages that affect you for your whole life. You could end up with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you have to miss work, you could lose wages or even lose your job. Injuries and accidents due to government negligence can certainly take their toll on you both physically and emotionally. If you have been a victim of a government negligence accident in San Diego, then you need to choose a negligence attorney who is experienced and who thoroughly understands the Federal Tort Claims Act. You also need an attorney who is aggressive enough to fight for your rights no matter how many hoops you must jump through and no matter how long the case takes. After all, government cases can take some time. If government negligence is responsible for your accident or injury, then contact the attorneys at Thompson | Wedeking today. We will be glad to offer you a free case evaluation.