When the negligence of military personnel causes you an injury, sovereign immunity prevents private citizens from filing a case again the responsible party through regular channels. However, Congress enacted a bill that ensures injured parties may still make a claim against federal employees.
If military personnel negligence is the cause of your injury, you may file a claim against the military under the Federal Tort Claims Act. This law ensures that veterans and civilians are eligible for compensation from injuries or property damage due to negligence.
The eligibility to file a claim
Your case needs to meet certain criteria to go forward. At the time of your injury, the responsible party must have been acting within the scope of his or her duties and caused your injury by acting negligently.
The evidence to support a claim
Gathering evidence to support your claim is key when seeking approval for a case. Important evidence may include eyewitness reports or video footage from when the injury occurred and medical records that demonstrate the injuries that you have suffered.
The process to file a claim
Once you decide to file a claim for compensation, you need to make an administrative claim with the military agency responsible for your injury. You must file a claim within two years of discovering your injury.
This time limit means it is imperative not to hold off if you suspect military personnel are responsible for your injury. Immediately filing a claim also helps add credibility to your case, which may help you receive the compensation owed to you.
The deadline to decide
The military agency has six months from the date of your claim to respond by either accepting, rejecting or ignoring the claim, which the court views as a rejection. The military may choose to agree to the full amount requested or settle for less than requested. If the military rejects your claim or you reject the settlement offer, you have six months to file a federal lawsuit.