If you slip and fall at your local United States Post Office and sustain an injury, in order to receive financial compensation for your injury, you have to go through a different process than a typical personal injury lawsuit. The federal government has specific protocols you have to follow when you are injured on federally owned property that is outlined in the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). If you are injured on property owned by the federal government, be sure to act fast.
Notice Of Claims
Unlike in typical slip and fall cases where you can go straight to your local courthouse with your claim, with slip and fall cases that happen on government property, you'll have to deal with the government entity where your injury occurred first. This article will continue with the post office example.
The first thing you need to do is inform the local U.S. Post Office where you were injured that an accident occurred on their premise. The official way to do this is by filing a notice of claim with the specific U.S. Post Office and your local United States District Courthouse.
Generally, you need to file this claim as soon as possible. You have two years to file the claim with the local Administrative Office of the United States District Courts from the date that your injury accrued. A local attorney can advise you on how much time you have to file a notice of claim.
Your notice of claim needs to include the following items:
- The date your injury occurred.
- A description of what happened.
- Any medical treatments you have sought for your injuries.
- A precise amount of monetary damages.
Six Month Waiting Period
Your local post office will then investigate your notice of claims. They have six months during which they can investigate and pursue your claim before they are legally obligated make a decision on the matter and before you can take any additional actions against them. That is why it is so important to have an attorney help you draft a solid claim.
If the U.S. Post Office accepts that they are at fault for the injuries you sustained while on their property, they may offer you a settlement. Usually these settlements are based on the monetary demands you included in your notice of claims. You can accept their settlement, or you can move the issue to the court system
Pursuing A Lawsuit
If you elect to move the issue to the court system, you cannot file the lawsuit with your local state courthouse. You will need to file with the closest United States District Court since you are suing an entity of the federal government. Once again, there are time restrictions about how long you have to choose to move forward with a lawsuit. An attorney can advise you of your legal rights.
Once you file your claim with your local United States District Court, generally a new legal team is assigned to the case to represent your local U.S. Post Office than the team that worked with your original notice of claims. This legal team may offer you different settlement options. If you choose to not accept their settlement, then your case will go before a judge in your local United States District Court.
The most important thing to remember if you slip and fall at your local post office is you need to act quickly. Contact a lawyer, such as those found at Marberry Law Firm, P.C., to help you navigate filing a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act.