Anytime a United States government employee injures someone, or if someone is injured on land owned by the United States government or if a person is injured because of defective equipment owned or operated by the United States of America, the injured party has the right to sue the U.S. government for damages. For instance, if you were in a car accident and a U.S. Post Office vehicle was responsible, you must sue the United States government. Likewise, if you were injured due to a fall on U. S. government property, including a recreational area or National Forest or Park.
At Berschler Associates, PC, based in San Francisco, attorney Arnold I. Berschler and our staff have successfully litigated against the United States government in numerous cases involving the Federal Tort Claims Act. Specifically, we have litigated many cases involving injuries that took place in national recreational areas, such as the Golden Gate National Recreational Area and the United States Forest surrounding portions of Lake Tahoe, California.
One notable example of our success in litigation against the United States government is in the case, Summers vs. United States, 905 F.2d 1212 (9th Cir. 1990), a published case decided by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
While you may believe that making a claim against the federal government is the same as against any negligent person or business, in reality there are many unique factors involved when suing the United States. Your lawyer must have a complete understanding of these factors in order to maximize your recovery.
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, before suing the government, you must first submit a written claim, using FTCA Claim Form 95, to the appropriate federal agency. This agency will then review the events surrounding your injuries. If the agency denies your claim, you can then proceed to litigation. What that claim form contains and time limitations for submitting such are vital to success.
There are other substantial differences between litigating against the government and other parties. The government can — and will — claim immunity under most circumstances. The government also benefits from shortened statutes of limitations. Although litigating against the federal government is often a daunting task, it is a task that we at Berschler Associates, PC, have been successful in many times. For instance, The Golden Gate National Recreation Area modified its policy on the public use of beaches due to our client’s successful appeal in Summers v. United States, 905 F.2d 1212 (9th Cir. 1990). This case clarified and narrowed the government’s application of the Discretionary Function Doctrine defense under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C., §§
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on a navigable waterway, call or e-mail our California maritime and admiralty law attorney to set up a consultation. Arnold I. Berschler will either answer your call immediately or return your call within 24 hours. The consultation is free. In personal injury, wrongful death and/or maintenance and cure cases, we offer contingency fees (no attorneys fees upfront).