Personal Injury Attorney: Injured On Federal Property

1 December 2020
 Categories: , Blog

If you sustain an injury on federal property, your path to seeking compensation can be fraught with bureaucratic red tape and delays. A personal injury lawyer can help you get a larger payout and help you get it more quickly than you can likely do without legal help.

Here's how a personal injury lawyer can help you when you've been injured on federal property.

Jurisdictional Authority

Few entities in the world are bigger than the United State federal government. Because the federal government is so big, it can be tough to pin down jurisdictional authority. Without figuring out which governmental institution is liable for an accident, your chances of winning a lawsuit are slim.

  • Naming a Defendant: The governmental agency with oversight for a location bears the liability for accidents that occur on the property. For instance, if you slip and fall on the slippery steps of a federal courthouse, that particular court would be the defendant if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. Other examples can be more complicated. For example, if you're injured in an accident on a forest service road, the liability extends to the National Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, or even the Department of the Interior. Even though pinning down primary liability can be difficult, these federal entities have large insurance policies, which can lead to huge settlements.

Proving Negligence

Personal injury lawsuits are only successful if you can prove that an act of negligence contributed to or caused an accident to happen. When it comes to proving negligence in cases that involve the federal government, you'll need to name names and provide solid documentation.

  • Naming Negligence: Negligence comes in a variety of legal forms. Most personal injury lawsuits involving the federal government involve gross or vicarious negligence. If you were injured by a deliberate action or inaction by an employee of the federal government, your personal injury lawyer can make the case for gross negligence. However, if your injury occurred because of an act committed by someone not employed by a federal employee, your personal injury lawyer might need to build a case for vicarious negligence. Once your personal injury lawyer is able to decide on what type of negligence is most appropriate for your case, they can begin the process of naming names and building a timeline. Because the federal government can be notoriously reluctant to share names or other information, your personal injury lawyer can file a petition with the courts to get access to the information they need.