Federal Tort Claims Act

By Peter DePaolis


If you sustain a personal injury or if a family member suffers a wrongful death because of the harmful or negligent acts of a federal government employee who was acting within the scope of his employment, you may be able to receive monetary compensation from the federal government. These types of cases are governed by a law known as the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”). But it is difficult to receive money damages under the FTCA because the law limits the government’s responsibility and imposes strict procedural requirements. It is vital you discuss your situation with a very knowledgeable Washington, D.C., Federal Tort Claim Lawyer.

What Does The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Do

The FTCA bars lawsuits against the government in many circumstances. For example, it prohibits suits for injuries arising out of libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contract rights. It prohibits suits for injuries arising out of assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, or abuse of process committed by a federal government employee who was not an investigative or law-enforcement officer. It prohibits suits by U.S. service personnel for injuries arising out of or in the course of activity related to military service. And it prohibits suits for injuries arising out of governmental decisions involving economic, political, or social policy

Washington, D.C., Federal Tort Claim Lawyer - Federal Courthouse picThe FTCA requires that, before filing a lawsuit, you must submit a written claim to the federal agency whose employee caused the injury. The claim must be filed with the agency within two years of the date of your injury; if it is not obvious when or how you were injured, your claim must be filed within two years after you discover or with reasonable diligence should have discovered your injury and its cause. If the agency denies your claim, the lawsuit must be filed within six months after the denial. A federal judge hears the case without a jury.

Because the FTCA is a complicated law and because it is difficult to win an FTCA case, it is important that you be represented by an injury lawyer who is experienced with this law. The Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. have a long history of skillfully representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases under the FTCA.

For example, we recently successfully settled an FTCA case involving an eight-year-old girl who suffered a serious personal injury when a dead limb fell on her from a tree that had been negligently maintained by the National Park Service in Rock Creek Park. In another FTCA case, we obtained a substantial monetary verdict for a bicyclist who sustained a severe personal injury when he struck a post that had been negligently placed on a pedestrian path in the C & O Canal National Historic Park in Washington, D.C.

Speak With A D.C. FTCA Lawyer

So if you think you might have a personal injury or wrongful death case against the federal government, contact us for a free consultation. Any of our Washington, D.C., Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyers would be happy to evaluate your potential case.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.