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What is the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)?

December 9, 2022

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) states that the federal government acts as a self-insurer and recognizes liability for the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its employees while acting within the scope of their official duties. With the FTCA, the United States is liable to the same level that an individual person would be in similar circumstances. The Act names the United States as the defendant in a negligence lawsuit. Moreover, the United States, rather than the individual employee, bears any resulting liability.

For example, if you’re driving down the road in Grand Rapids, or Ada, or Kentwood, and you’re rear-ended by another motorist and seriously injured, you can make a third-party claim in Michigan directly against the driver who is at-fault. In Michigan, you can only bring a third-party claim if the other driver is at least 50% at-fault for causing the accident. If you are hit by a U.S. Postal Service vehicle, the Federal Tort Claims Act lets you make a claim against the United States if the USPS employee was acting within the scope of his official duties.

How Do I Make a Claim Under the FTCA?

If you’re injured by the wrongful or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the scope of his or her official duties, you can file a claim with the government for compensation for your injuries or damage. To be successful with a claim under the FTCA, you must satisfy each of the following:

  • You were injured by a federal government employee;
  • That employee was acting within the scope of his or her official duties;
  • The employee acted in a negligent or wrongful manner; and
  • The negligent or wrongful act proximately caused your injuries or damages.

In addition, you are required to provide documentation showing that your claim satisfies each of the elements of the FTCA.

Where is a FTCA Claim Filed?

There are several steps in the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the federal government. And, a FTCA claim must be filed within two years of the injury. An experienced Michigan personal injury attorney can help you complete the claim and include all of the facts, details, reports of damages, and documentation. The agency then has six months to respond to the claim. If the agency agrees with your claim, it may settle immediately without going to court. If the agency denies the claim, you have six months to file a lawsuit. Initiating an action should be done with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney.

Contact us

If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a federal government employee in a motor vehicle accident or at a federally funded clinic in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. We will help you pursue compensation against those who are responsible.

Contact the Buchanan Firm for a free consultation. We have handled many FTCA claims and know the process and steps required. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after hours, at home or in the hospital, to accommodate you.

Contact us today!