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A young girl crossing the street with her grandmother was hit and killed by a mail truck on Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth. A two-year old child was being held by her grandmother as they crossed the street along with the girl's 4-year-old brother. The accident remains under investigation, but witnesses state that the mail truck hit the family while in the street, causing the girl to fly out of her grandmother's arms and into the street. She was taken to Trinitas Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The grandmother was taken to University Hospital in Newark, where she was reported to be in stable condition. The four-year-old was also injured, but no information was available on his condition. The postal worker was not injured. 

As a rule, individuals are barred by a principle known as "sovereign immunity" from suing the U.S. government. However, under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), there are certain exceptions to this rule. The FTCA is a law that permits lawsuits by individuals who were victims of negligent acts by federal employees while they acted within the scope of their responsibilities as an employee of the government. For example, you could likely file a claim against the federal government if an FBI agent negligently shot you while he was carrying out his duties as a federal agent, but you could not file a lawsuit against the federal government for injuries you received in an accident with a drunken IRS agent occurring while she was not carrying out duties related to her employment. There are a number of additional special requirements that must be met before a lawsuit can be filed. First of all, the injured individual must file a claim with the federal agency that employed the negligent individual, within two years of the accident occurring. In the case described above, the injured woman and young girl's family would file a claim with the U.S. Postal Service. The claim must include certain facts, and a calculation of how much money is owed. The agency then has six months to consider the claim. The agency may decide to pay for the claimed damages, or may deny the claim, forcing the claimant to file a lawsuit in order to recover damages. After the agency has denied a claim and notified the claimant of this fact, the claimant has six months to file a lawsuit in federal court.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of another person's negligence, find a skilled personal injury attorney so that you can be assured that you'll be fully compensated. Contact the experienced Morristown car accident and personal injury attorneys at Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your northern New Jersey accident, at 973-292-0016.

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