Claims Against the Government
Generally, active duty servicemembers who have been injured by military personnel are prohibited from filing a claim against the military for their injuries. Additionally, an active duty servicemember’s family is also prohibited from filing a claim against the military for the injuries sustained by the servicemember while on active duty.
However, under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) civilians, military dependents and veterans who are injured or suffer property damage or loss by the negligence of military personnel can file a claim against the military for compensation for their injuries and/or property damage. Typical negligence claims include negligence of military or VA medical personnel, automobile accidents caused by a government vehicle, injuries suffered by dependent children at a military day care, or damage to personal property by military personnel or equipment.
The Claims Process
Prior to filing a lawsuit in federal district court against the military, an injured party must first exhaust their administrative remedies by filing an administrative claim with the appropriate military agency responsible for the alleged negligence.
The following is a brief overview of the administrative claim process:
You must file your administrative claim within two years.
You must file your claim with the appropriate military agency within two years from the time you first learned of the injury or damage. Since the exact date when you first learned of your injury or damage may be a question of law, you should file your claim as soon as possible or it may be rejected as untimely.
Gather sufficient evidence to support your claim.
You will want to gather as many documents as possible to support your claim and the amount of damages you are seeking. This documentary evidence is critical because you want to provide the military agency with enough information about your case so that they can evaluate the merits of your claim.
The military agency has six months to respond to your claim.
Once your administrative claim is filed with the military, the military has six months to rule on your claim. If the military agrees to pay your claim in the amount you requested, then there is no need to file a federal lawsuit. If the military agrees to pay your claim in an amount less than what you requested, then you have the option to accept the military’s settlement offer, or you can reject it and file a federal lawsuit within six months.
You must file a lawsuit within six months after the settlement or your claim is rejected.
If you fail to accept the military agency’s settlement offer or the federal agency rejects your claim you have six months from the date on which the decision is mailed to you to file a federal lawsuit. If the agency fails to rule on your administrative claim within six months, you have the choice of either awaiting the agency’s decision or moving forward with filing a federal lawsuit.
Military Claims Act
As an Active Duty Servicemember, Veteran, or Department of Defense (DOD) Employee, you may find yourself in the middle of an investigation involving a claim for something you allegedly did that harmed someone else. Or, you may know someone who was injured as a result of something someone else in the military did.
The Military Claims Act allows a claimant to recover damages resulting from personal injury, death or property damage caused by military personnel or civilian employees acting within the scope of their employment.
The second type of claim under the Military Claims Act is for personal injury, death or property damage caused by “noncombatant activities of a peculiarly military nature.” Examples of “noncombatant activities of a peculiarly military nature” include damages arising out of military exercises, tank and artillery live fire exercises, and military aircraft bombing exercises.
Unlike the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Military Claims Act allows for claims “worldwide”. Additionally, unlike the Federal Tort Claims Act, if a claim is denied under the Military Claims Act, the claimant does not have a right to file a lawsuit against the Government.
If you have a Military Claims Act issue, Contact the Military Law Center for advice.
If you have a Military Claims Act issue make sure that you get the right help from a Civilian Military Attorney, in San Diego or Worldwide, – built to support your needs. Military Law Center Is Ready to Help You – Right Now. Military Law Center will aggressively advise and defend you – Know Your Military Legal Rights.
Federal Tort Claims Act
As an Active Duty Servicemember, Veteran, or Department of Defense (DOD) Employee, you should know and understand your rights under the law. The military and civilian legal systems are not the same. You or a loved one may have been injured or experienced property damage caused by someone in the military or federal government, it is important that you understand your rights. Most military or civilian attorneys cannot defend you simultaneously in both legal systems.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) allows certain kinds of lawsuits against federal employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. The FTCA allows claimants to file a claim for damages resulting in personal injury, death or property loss caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government.
Generally speaking claims involving personal injuries, death or property damage to an active duty servicemember are prohibited under the FTCA.
The first step in filing a claim is to file a claim with the federal agency responsible for the injury, death or property damage. This claim must be filed within two years from the time the claim arose. The agency has six months to respond to the claim. If the federal agency denies your claim or you are not satisfied with their settlement offer, then you have six months from the date of the decision to file a case in federal district court.
Questions regarding the Federal Tort Claims Act? Contact the Military Law Center for advice.
Make sure that you get the right help from a Civilian Military Attorney in San Diego or Worldwide, built to support your needs. Military Law Center Is Ready to Help You – Right Now. Military Law Center will aggressively advise and defend you – Know Your Military Legal Rights.