A couple of years ago, Sabrina was in a car accident. She was rear-ended by a Mack tractor-trailer. As a result, she hurt her neck and back. Sabrina suffered a soft tissue injury in her neck resulting in ongoing medical costs as well as the need to miss work.
Unfortunately, the defendant was a U.S. Post Office worker on the job transporting mail. It’s difficult to sue the United States because of a doctrine called “sovereign immunity”, which shields the country from lawsuits. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) was enacted by Congress in 1946 allowing an injured party to sue the U.S. in certain situations. There are important distinctions between suing the U.S. government under the FTCA and a standard personal injury suit. Under the FTCA, in a suit against the government, the injured party is not entitled to a jury trial but rather the case must be tried by a judge. In addition, these cases must be held in Federal District Courts.
At first we tried to negotiate with the National Tort Center; however the highest offer we received was only $30,000. We then filed a lawsuit under the FTCA and worked on the case for a year. In the end we were able to negotiate a settlement with the Assistant District Attorney for $75,000 – a significant recovery in a tough case against the government. We were thrilled to be able to assist Sabrina and reach a positive settlement in her case.