Can I Sue the Military If I Was Negligently Injured?

Posted By Matthew Clawson || 8-Mar-2017

People and organizations are responsible for the negligent injuries of any number of individuals. In many cases, those responsible can be held accountable when the injured pursue legal action against them. The military is a slightly different matter, however. While the military can cause injury through negligence, it has the advantage of being part of the government. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, most people can’t sue the federal government without its permission. However, at least two laws have reduced this broad governmental immunity so people can attempt to seek compensation for their injuries.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the sovereign immunity under particular circumstances. You can file an administrative claim with the FTCA first before attempting to collect money from the government for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death caused by the negligence of federal employees who were acting within the scope of their duty. The problem remains that the tort process with the FTCA is often a struggle for military plaintiffs because the law has numerous exemptions and limitations, including thirteen exceptions that release the government from any liability. For example, the government is free from any responsibility for “combatant activities” of the military in times of war. The Supreme Court has also placed limitations on the scope of this act by barring claims by members of the armed forces and their families for injuries sustained out of or in the course of activity related to military service.

Another act, the Military Claims Act, covers military cases specifically for personal injury, property loss, and wrongful death for up to $100,000. This act mostly includes overseas injury claims but compensates military members and civilians up to $40,000 for damages in ordinary circumstances.

If you plan on filing under the FTCA, make sure you do so within two years of the incident. This action must be taken before an actual civil suit can be filed. A plaintiff must wait at least six months before filing a suit in federal court.

Pursuing compensation from the federal government can be tough. Make sure you have an experienced Colorado Springs injury attorney on your side. The lawyers at our firm have nearly 120 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Our highly rated attorneys can help build your case to ensure the best outcome possible, and we are experienced in both negotiation and litigation if your case goes to court. Our advocates at Clawson & Clawson, LLP are also proud supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). We offer representation to those who have sustained serious injuries through military service and who have no legal options. We understand that military members make sacrifices, and as supporters of WWP, we want to give back. A portion of our contingency fee goes to WWP, which helps raise awareness and provides aid to services members their families. For more information about WWP, or to get your case started, contact us at (719) 602-5888 or fill out our online form with your information. We look forward to helping you with your situation.

Categories: Personal Injury

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