State and Federal Tort Claims
A tort is a cause for a civil lawsuit based on damage, injury or a wrongful act, which was caused intentionally or negligently. A tort does not include breach of contract. An example would be a hazardous road that was not properly maintained and did not have the proper warning signs posted, and accidents occurred which caused injury or death. A tort claim is a claim filed by an injured person, or the family of the injured or deceased, whose injuries or death were caused by the negligent actions of another individual or party. Prior to 1946, a government agency could be not be sued when their negligence brought about personal injury to others. The Federal Tort Claims Act changed this.
About the Federal Tort Claims Act
Informally referred to as FTCA, the Federal Tort Claims Act was enacted in 1948 by the United States Congress. According to the FTCA, private parties are permitted to sue the United States in federal court for most torts (civil wrongdoings) that are committed by people that were acting on behalf of the United States. A limited waiver of sovereign immunity (a legal doctrine that stipulates the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is therefore immune from criminal prosecution or civil suit) is constituted by the FTCA.
According to the FTCA, the U.S. will be held liable (in the same manner and to the same degree) as a private entity / individual would be under similar circumstances. However, the U.S. will not be held liable for interest prior to the time of the judgment, nor will it be held liable for punitive damages. When such claims arise, the federal courts hold jurisdiction over the matter; in these instances, state law will be applied where the act / omission occurred. This means that both state and federal laws have the power to impose limitations on liability, A Springfield injury lawyer from our office has extensive knowledge in these matters and can review your case before developing a plan for how to move forward. Contact us immediately to begin!