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Federal Tort Claims Act

Southern Illinois Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer

Helping Those Injured by Government Conduct

Normally the federal government has immunity from civil lawsuits; however, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals to bring certain claims against the government for wrongful acts. The FTCA does impose strict rules to limit an individual’s ability to recover, so it is important that you are aware of these rules. The process is very different from a normal lawsuit against a private party.

At the Weilmuenster & Keck, P.C., we are knowledgeable and experienced in FTCA cases. If you were injured in a federally funded medical facility or rural health clinic, we are ready to help you. Schedule a free initial consultation with our Southern Illinois Federal Tort Claims Act attorneys today. Call 618-257-2222 or toll free 855-593-2984. You can also contact us online.

When Does the FTCA Apply?

The FTCA applies to facilities owned or operated by the federal government. The FTCA allows anyone (veterans, non-active duty servicemembers, spouses and children) injured while in a federally supported hospital, clinic, or rural health facility to bring a claim; unfortunately, the Feres Doctrine bars active duty servicemembers from bringing a claim under the FTCA. Patients receiving care from a government employee at a private medical facility may also be able to bring a claim under the FTCA. It is important to know whether the facility where you received treatment falls under the FTCA, as the rules for bringing a claim against one of those facilities are different than bringing a claim against a private entity.

How These Cases Proceed

You have two years to bring a claim under the FTCA. The clock begins to run after two events occur: (1) you know or should know that you were injured and (2) you know or should know that your injury was caused by someone’s negligence.

To sue a federally supported hospital, clinic or rural health facility, you must follow the rigid rules set forth by the FTCA. The first step is filing a claim with the medical facility responsible for your care. This is a demand (through the U.S. Department of Justice) for the agency to hold itself responsible and compensate you for your injuries. This form can have consequences throughout the rest of the FTCA process, so it is important that the form be completed with the knowledge that it may limit any potential recovery. The agency will have six months to either accept the demand or reject it.

If the agency rejects the demand or fails to take action, the FTCA allows you to bring a lawsuit in federal court. You are not allowed to bring a claim against the federal government at your local courthouse. A jury will not hear this lawsuit; a federal judge sitting in a “bench trial” will hear it.

Contact an FTCA Attorney

If you were injured by medical malpractice in a government-run facility, our firm can help. Schedule a free initial consultation with us. Call 618-257-2222 or toll free 855-593-2984. You can also contact our law firm online.