Spencer Eisenmenger
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, product liability, birth injury and personal injury clients.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was enacted in 1946 to provide a forum for individuals and private parties to sue the United States for wrongful actions taken by those acting on behalf of our country. The word “tort” means the infringement on a person’s rights or a wrongful act that is legally eligible for compensation. The FTCA rid the United States of the historical “sovereign immunity” that kings and governments have enjoyed since the beginning of time.  If you are in need of legal counsel from an experienced Missouri FTCA attorney, contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation.

While the US government is still immune from certain kinds of cases, this act allows compensation for reasonable suits. For example, if a fighter jet or bomber that is part of the US military crashes into a mall or home and causes injury or death to civilians, they and their family members may seek compensation as a result. Falling in a post office due to unmarked wet surfaces could also lead to a successful FTCA-based claim.

What Is Covered Under the FTCA?

Injuries, property damage and/or financial loss, and wrongful death are all eligible for coverage under the FTCA, but within that broad purview are several restrictions and provisions. For instance, people hired by the federal government but who are not federal employees (e.g. contractors) will not fall under the act. The state in which the incident occurred will determine the set of laws surrounding the case. Only negligence is generally allowed, not willful or intentional acts of destruction. The act must have occurred as part of a federal employee’s normal course of work, as well.

Though the restrictions governing the FTCA are complex, there are successful claims filed every year that cost the government millions of dollars. Seeking the guidance of an experienced Kansas City Federal Tort Claim attorney who is knowledgeable about the act and its application in your state is the best course of action if you think you may have a claim under the FTCA. 

Proving an FTCA Claim

A successful claim under the FTCA will demonstrate the following:

  • Injury or property damage as the result of negligence by a federal employee
  • That the federal employee was working within a normal framework for his or her job description
  • That the federal employee’s negligence or wrongful act proximately caused injury or damage

The claims process for the FTCA is more complicated than most civil lawsuits because a claimant cannot directly proceed to court. Instead, a filing must be made with the agency that will be held responsible for the misconduct. The statute of limitations on filing a claim with any agency is two years, which is federally enforced and does not vary from state to state. Securing an attorney to help you with the claims process will provide answers to any questions that may arise about the nature of your claim.

An FTCA attorney can help draft a legally accurate claim with all the relevant facts and figures. Your claim will need to include the amount of damages you are requesting and any facts that support your claim of injury or damage.

Because filing a claim under the FTCA requires federal government review, the turnaround time for hearing back about your claim can be up to six months. If your claim is ruled valid in that time frame, your case is finished. If not, you will have six additional months to file a lawsuit.

Having an attorney helping you from the beginning of the claims process is the best way to ensure your case is ready and strong. If you did not file your original claim with a Kansas City, Missouri-based FTCA attorney’s guidance, you will need to secure the services of an attorney to pursue further legal action.

Do You Believe You Have A Federal Tort Claim?

If you believe you have a federal tort claim you should speak with an experienced federal tort claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.