You are in traffic and just got the green light. You proceed on your way and a United States Postal Service truck slams into you causing property damage and personal injuries. This collision falls under the Federal Tort Claims Act because it involves federal property and federal personnel.
You are a veteran who is admitted to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital for surgery. While a patient there, you are dropped from a wheelchair and fall to the floor breaking your arm. This fall is governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Finally, you are a Native American who is being treated at a Public Health Hospital and had a failed surgery or were misdiagnosed. This is a Federal Tort Claims Act.
At Barudin Law Firm, we have had a long career handling and bringing such civil claims in federal court against the United States for the negligent acts of its employees or against tribal employees who are contracted with the United States. Many attorneys do not like appearing in federal court because of the complexity of the cases and the strict scheduling requirements imposed by the judges. The Barudin Law Firm has successfully handled and tried cases in federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act and has no aversion in preparing and presenting such a federal claim.
Bringing a Federal Tort Claim has specific requirements and deadlines. A claimant must present a claim within two (2) years of when the negligent act occurred and must file a Form 95 with the appropriate federal agency. If this is not done, your claim will be forever barred. The Form 95 has detailed requirements to alert the United States and its federal agency of the nature of your claim and the amount of damages you are seeking.
The United States then has six (6) months to review your claim and either accepts it and work towards a settlement or to deny the claim. In the event the United States’ agency fails to respond in the six month period, you are free to file your lawsuit in the federal district where the negligent act occurred. On the other hand, the United States must deny your claim in writing and send you such denial through a certified letter. Upon receipt of this denial letter, you have six months to either file reconsideration of the Agency denial or to file suit. If you do nothing, any claim after the six month denial will be forever barred.
All proceedings under the Federal Tort Claims Act are tried to the judge and you do not have the right to a jury trial. You will need expert witnesses to testify in the area of expertise in the field you are claiming the employee(s) were negligent.
The Barudin Law Firm has extensive experience in handling and litigating Federal Tort Claims Act claims in the New Mexico and Arizona federal courts. Mr. Barudin has been a member of the Federal Military and Advocacy Section of the American Trial Lawyers Association, now known as the American Association for Justice. Mr. Barudin is the recent past Section Chair and served as the Editor of the Section’s newsletter.
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