What is the Federal Tort Claims Act and How Does it Relate to My Veterans’ Benefits?
The Federal Tort Claims Act, or the FTCA, allows someone to bring a lawsuit against the government and the Department of Veterans Affairs if they were injured or died to the actions of a VA employee. This can be a very complex process. When you hire an Orlando veterans’ disability attorney, you have someone on your side who can protect your rights and knows how the various claims processes work for benefits.
Before you file a lawsuit, you must first file an administrative claim with the VA. The Federal Tort Claims Act will then expose the VA for liability related to whatever personal injury or property damage was caused by the VA employee’s negligence.
Why You Need an Orlando Veterans Disability Lawyer
You want an attorney who has experience dealing with the VA and these types of claims. The process can be unpredictable and hard for someone to figure out on their own. In most cases, you can expect the VA will deny liability no matter how clear cut it seems. They will also contend that the supposed negligence did not happen at the hands of a VA employee, but rather by an independent contractor. When you have an experienced attorney representing you, they will catch all the weaknesses in the VA’s arguments.
How Long Do You Have to File FTCA Claims?
You must file an administrative claim with the VA before the two-year mark from when the claim arises. In most cases the date the claim arises would be the same time you were injured. Sometimes, that date might be different. One example would be a medical malpractice claim where the veteran learns about the injury and the cause at a later time.
Before you start a case in the federal district court, you must receive the denial from the VA within six months of filing the administrative claim. If the VA fails to decide your administrative claim within six months of your filing, it will be considered to be a denial.
Is There a Set Compensation Amount?
No, FTCA awards do not follow a general rating system. Awards are unique and based on the individual details of your case. It may also factor in your pain and suffering. This means every award is different as no two injuries are the same. Either way, these types of claims will take a long time to resolve. The government is not going to hand over any money without a serious fight. You can expect FTCA claims to drag on for years and be in litigation.
There is no guarantee you will prevail, which is why it’s important to retain an experienced attorney. When you retain an attorney who has handled these types of cases before, you have the benefit of their expertise in FTCA claims.
Contact a Florida Veterans’ Benefits Attorney
If you need assistance with an FTCA claim, or you need to pursue a Veterans’ disability claim, contact the Law Office of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your case and help you pursue the compensation and benefits you deserve.