TOP THIRTY- ONE TIPS ON HOW TO FILE A CLAIM AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR AN AUTO ACCIDENT

TOP THIRTY- ONE TIPS ON HOW TO FILE A CLAIM AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR AN AUTO ACCIDENT

  1. A claim must be filed with the appropriate federal agency responsible for the negligent conduct under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)
  2. The standard form 95 or SF95 form which is at the end of this article should be used. https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/SF95-07a.pdf?forceDownload=1
  3. Failure to use this form will not be a fatal flaw in the process as long as a claim is filed which includes all of the required information.
  4. Your claim form must include the exact amount you are claiming as damages
  5. Your claim form must include sufficient facts in order for the federal agency to investigate your claim
  6. You may not be able to later ask for an amount greater than what you put in your claim form unless there is newly discovered evidence after the claim form is filed
  7. While you claim is being reviewed by the federal agency involved it is known as an administrative claim
  8. All claims must be filed with the appropriate agency within two years of the alleged negligence or your claim will be barred. Your time to file suit in court has a different time period.
  9. Once your claim has been submitted to the appropriate agency, then the agency has 6 months to rule on your claim
  10. Until the agency either rules on your claim or six months has passed whichever is first, you cannot file suit in federal court
  11. If the agency takes longer than six months to rule on your claim, you have the choice of either waiting on the agency to rule on your claim no matter how long it takes or filing suit once the six months passes. The six-month rule to file suit in federal court does not begin to run until the agency has ruled on your claim
  12. Failure to file your claim within six months after the date of mailing, by certified or registered mail, of notice of final denial of the claim by the agency will bar your claim
  13. Exclusive jurisdiction for suits for money damages involving federal agencies or the United States 1. due to the negligent actions of federal employees 2. while acting within the scope of their employment is in the United States District courts, 3. if the United States was a private person and would be liable in accordance with the laws of the state where the incident took place
  14. Claims based on intentional conduct are not covered generally
  15. Only federal employees can be sued under the federal Tort claims act and not independent contractors hired by the federal government
  16. Initially, the head of the federal agency or his designee will attempt Administrative adjustment of the claim
  17. Any award in excess of $25000.00 must obtain prior approval of the attorney general unless the attorney general gives authority to the head of that agency to make that decision
  18. The United States is not liable for pre-judgement interest or punitive damages
  19. Attorney fees are limited to 20% if settled and 25% is a judgement is entered. If a fee is greater than allowed the attorney is subject to a $2000.00 fine and one year in jail.
  20. Suit must be filed, where you live or where the claim arose.
  21. Suit should not be filed in state court and can be removed to federal court If the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident
  22. If suit is filed against an employee of the federal government or his estate, once the federal employee is served, the attorney general will represent the employee. Suit papers must be given by employee to his immediate supervisor, who will the forward it to the us attorney for that district
  23. Once the Attorney general receives notice of the suit, the attorney general must decide if the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident
  24. If the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, then only the United States can be sued and not the employee or federal agency
  25. If the attorney general certifies the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, then the United States will be substituted as a party if not already named and the employee will be dismissed
  26. If the attorney general certifies the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, then the United States may remove the case at any time before trial to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place in which the proceedings are pending
  27. If the attorney general refuses to certify the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, then the employee may any time before trial petition the court to certify if the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident at which time if so certifies the United States shall be substituted as a party
  28. The federal tort claims act section of the Us Department of justice contact information is as follows:

Contact the FTCA Section by phone and fax

Telephone: (202) 616-4400
Fax: (202) 616-5200

Contact the FTCA Section by U.S. Postal Service

Federal Tort Claims Act Section
Torts Branch, Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 888
Benjamin Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044

Please address FedEx, UPS, courier, etc. deliveries to

            Federal Tort Claims Act Section
Torts Branch, Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
175 N Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

In order to pay a claim, the following must be established:

  1. Negligence

To determine whether to make a payment on a tort claim, will need to determine if the accident was caused by a Federal employee’s negligent act or omission by an employee. Negligence consists of four basic elements:

A duty recognized by law requiring an action to conform to a certain standard of conduct;

A failure to conform to the required standard of conduct;

A legally defined causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury or other damages; and

An actual loss or damage suffered by the claimant.

  1. Liability

Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, payment decisions should be based on a determination of whether the United States is legally responsible for the accident in question. That liability determination should be based on a finding that there was a negligent or wrongful act or omission by an employee while within the scope of his or her employment under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant under the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. Therefore, the first determination to be made after a proper and adequately documented claim is received and investigated is whether liability rests with the Postal Service.

  1. Scope of Employment

Scope of employment is defined as duties an employee is authorized to perform in service of the United States, and which occurs substantially within the authorized limits of time and space of his or her duties.



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