If You Are Injured by the U.S. Government, Can You Sue for Negligence?

Can You Sue The U.S. Government for Negligence?

If you or a family member have suffered a serious personal injury as a result of the negligence of a government employee or agency, you may ask, “can I sue the United States government?” The answer is yes, you may be able to bring a claim against the U.S. government and receive compensation for your losses. But suing the government for personal injury can be a difficult and complicated process. Those who achieve the best results usually do so when they seek the assistance of attorneys who are experienced with this type of case from the outset.

Our firm handles a wide range personal injury cases against the United States government. Many of the cases we handle are medical malpractice cases. We often represent military service members and veterans, but our firm represents anyone who has been injured by the federal government. Our firm is also actively representing individuals with Camp Lejeune claims.

As our track record and case results suggest, we are experienced in this field and have been able to help many clients recover damages from the government. To discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced member of our team, contact the law firm Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC today.

Suing the Federal Government After an Accident

The federal government, its employees and agents are responsible for many personal injuries each year. Many of these are caused by traffic accidents involving a federal government vehicle such as:

  • Military vehicles or convoys
  • U.S. Postal Service mail transport trucks
  • U.S. Postal Service letter carrier vehicles
  • Other government agency vehicles (FBI, DEA, ATF)

The federal government is also responsible for injuries that happen at federal venues, also known as premises liability accidents. These cases involve situations where the government failed to make reasonable effort to maintain safe conditions for visitors. Those who are hurt due to unsafe conditions in federal government buildings (e.g. post offices, museums, courthouses, office buildings, etc.) may be wondering, “can I sue the federal government for personal injury?” The answer is yes, provided you follow the proper procedures which includes timely presenting an administrative claim first.

record-setting case results
  • $230,000,000 $230MM Judgment: Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting - Highest Verdict and Settlement in FTCA History
  • $44,717,681 $44.7MM Trial Judgment: Air Force Birth Injury
  • $32,676,410 $32.6MM Trial Judgment: Army Birth Injury
  • $21,592,643 $21.5MM Trial Judgment: VA Medical Malpractice
  • $18,708,734 Trial Judgment Army Hospital Birth Injury
  • $13,690,648 Trial Judgment $13,690,648 Trial Judgment

Property Damage by Federal Employees

Negligence of federal government personnel can also damage property. If a U.S. Postal Service truck collides with other vehicles in an accident, the owners of those vehicles can sue the government for property damage. If federal park rangers setting controlled burn fires lose control of them and homes are destroyed, the homeowners may seek restitution from the federal government for the damage to the homes and their contents. These are just two examples of cases in which the U.S. government may be liable for property damage under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Do you need permission to sue the government? No, but you must comply with the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act. In 1946, Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act which allows plaintiffs injured by the negligent acts of federal employees to file claims against the United States for damages. Our firm has a national FTCA practice and has represented many clients in cases against the US Government.

Suing the government for personal injury or property damage is not an easy process. Before you can sue the U.S. government for personal injury, you must present an administrative claim within 2 years of the date of negligence to the appropriate federal agency. After the claim is filed, the U.S. government has a minimum of six months to take action on the claim before suit can be filed. During this time, the government usually conducts an investigation on the matter and may or may not offer the plaintiff a settlement.

If, after six months, the government takes no action or if a settlement is not reached, a suit can be filed in federal court. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may have to comply with additional state laws before you can file your case, depending on the jurisdiction. Talk to your lawyer about what conditions must be satisfied before bringing a lawsuit against the U.S. government. You have a limited amount of time in which to file suit in federal court and if you don’t file in a timely manner, you forfeit your right to sue.

Real Client testimonials

  • Helped me navigate an extremely complex system

    “I couldn’t recommend her enough.”

  • Very impressed

    “She always responded quickly and kept me informed at all times.”

  • Instantly put us at ease.

    “Words cannot fully express the amount of gratitude that we have for the both of you.”

  • The entire team was always professional and supportive.

    “Chip was always there to answer questions, calm me down and let me know everything was going to be okay!”

  • We are truly grateful for Jamal and his team

    “After a long and lengthy process we feel secure in that we will be able to provide everything our son needs and deserves through the trusts that they set up for him.”

Attorneys for Suing the U.S. Government

If you have been injured by a U.S. Government employee, the Federal Tort Claims Act is your only recourse. It is usually better if you work with a law firm to present your administrative claim because there are many details of the law that a non-lawyer may not be aware of in presenting an administrative claim. You can lose valuable time or unknowingly make mistakes that limit your recovery. Your safest bet is to consult with a law firm experienced in handling FTCA cases and work with them to present the best administrative claim possible. Don’t delay because the more time your law firm has to review the file and prepare your claim before the statute of limitations expires, the better.

Everyone wants to know how to sue the government and win. There is no simple formula for victory. When it comes to suing the federal government, the best strategy is to gather as much information as possible and work with the most experienced, knowledgeable attorneys you can find. The lawyers at Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC have decades of experience filing FTCA claims, negotiating with federal attorneys, and trying cases in federal court. Call us today for a complimentary consultation.

Contact Our Attorneys

It is extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue a complex military case, but our firm can skillfully guide you through the litigation process. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

National Recognition

  • Super Lawyers 2023
  • Austin Monthly’s Top Attorneys of 2022
  • Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award 2022 – Texas Bar Foundation Awards
  • – “Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Austin 2022”
What sets us apart:

    More attorneys named Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters in the “Personal Injury Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff” category in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 than any other law firm in Texas (Bill Whitehurst, Chip Brees, Michelle Cheng, Jamal Alsaffar, Laurie Higginbotham and Tom Jacob)


    Founded in Austin with more than 50 years of trial experience.


    National results in complex personal injury litigation.


    Many experienced lawyers ready to serve you.


    Our team has multiple Spanish speaking staff members.

Texas roots. National Reach.

Contact Us today.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.