Washington DC Terrorism Claim Attorneys
HOLDING FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR DAMAGES IN TERRORIST ATTACKS
When you first think about a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you probably think of accidents such as car accidents, workplace accidents, or other related accidents. You may not consider sustaining injuries or losing a loved one in a terrorist attack as a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, even though we do not plan for these horrific attacks, they still continue to happen more often every year, causing serious damage to those involved.
For years, our attorneys have been protecting the rights of victims who have suffered injuries at the hands of terrorist acts. In fact, our founding attorney, Thomas Fortune Fay, began working with families involved in the 1983 Beirut bombing and helped to pioneer the use of the FSIA, also known as the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. This act aims to recover civil and punitive damages against state sponsors of terrorism.
If you have been impacted by a terrorist act, our attorneys at Fay Law Group understand what you are going through and would like to extend a helping hand to you and your family. Contact Fay Law Group to speak with a Washington, D.C., terrorism claim attorney who understands what you have endured and would like to help you move forward at one of the most challenging times in your life.
Understanding Sovereign Immunity
If you have been negatively impacted by state sponsors of terrorism, you might find that your claim feels overwhelming as you work toward recovering damages in your case in order to move past the act and return to your normal life. According to many traditional principles of international law, you are generally prohibited to bring a claim against a foreign state. However, there are exceptions. We would like to help you understand sovereign immunity and how we can assist you with your claim.
Sovereign immunity has existed for quite some time in the United States and dictates the rules on whether or not a judge or certain governments can be sued due to official acts. These laws have been in existence to protect individuals in government positions so that they are permitted to perform their jobs without fear of litigation looming overhead. If we did not have these laws, you may find it difficult to find police officers that would want to do their jobs. They would constantly work in fear of being arrested for helping others, even if it meant harm could happen to other parties.
In the United States, sovereign immunity exists on both federal and state levels. States are not permitted to be sued unless they have consented to be sued. There are specific laws in place that allow you to work around these regulations. Before this point, the laws could have kept you from receiving the compensation you deserve. For instance, with the introduction of the Federal Tort Claims Act, you are now permitted to sue a federal employee who has caused you negligent harm in some way.
Understanding Your Exceptions to Sovereign Immunity
Our attorneys at Fay Law Group are experienced in helping you navigate the laws that dictate sovereign immunity and work past these laws so that you can gain the compensation you deserve for injuries and damages sustained.
Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA): The FSIA was officially enacted by President Gerald Ford in 1976 and establishes limitations to sovereign immunity. This allows you to move forward with a claim even in cases where sovereign immunity previously applied. The FSIA originally did not provide ways for victims involved in terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments for their role in these terrorist acts. However, attorney Thomas Fortune Fay pioneered the movement toward necessary legislative changes to put into place exceptions to ensure the victims of terrorist attacks maintain the rights they deserve.
The FSIA now works to hold at-fault government officials and agencies accountable for funding and aiding terrorist groups who cause harm to U.S. citizens. If you are seeking compensation as an individual or the family of a loved one whose life was taken during these acts, you have many rights under the law. Our attorneys at Fay Law Group are here, eager to assist you.
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC): The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission operates within the Department of Justice and is responsible for adjudicating claims on behalf of U.S. citizens who have had their rights violated by a foreign government. This means that if you have been harmed by a foreign terrorist group operating under a nation, you will be able to settle your claim with the help of FCSC so that you receive the monetary compensation you deserve.
If you need legal advice about your right to compensation as a victim or survivor of a terrorist attack, contact our office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 589-1300 for a free consultation about your options.
Recovering Damages from State Sponsors of Terrorism
Traditional principles of international law and sovereign immunity generally prohibit a private citizen from suing a foreign state, government, or head of state for any tort, including personal injury or wrongful death claims related to terrorism. Federal law has recognized certain specific exceptions to the sovereign immunity doctrine, however, including exceptions related to state terrorism. Fay Law Group knows how to apply these exceptions to sovereign immunity for the benefit of the victims of international terrorism.
We have pursued civil damages claims under the FSIA against such nations as Iran, Libya, and Sudan for incidents of terrorism, and we can pursue claims against any state terrorist sponsor for:
- Air or sea hijackings
- Hostage situations
- Land mine injuries or deaths
Terrorism Claims We Have Pursued
Our attorneys at Fay Law Group are committed to helping all citizens who have fallen victim to serious terrorist acts. We have helped the victims of terrorism in the past and can help you, too.
Beirut Bombing: We assisted and represented those who were affected by the October 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. These incidents took place on the morning of October 23, 1983. The attacks began when a dump truck loaded with approximately 12,000 pounds of explosives came through the front gates of U.S. barracks in Beirut, killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers. Another truck then drove through the French barracks with explosives and killed 58 French soldiers. After an investigation, it was discovered that the Islamic Jihad Organization was responsible for the attacks.
In 2018, a federal judge granted a judgment of $920 million for the 80 victims in the 1983 bombings. Iran faced the lawsuit in connection with the bombings for sponsoring the Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah, who carried out the attacks. A bank account with $2 billion was frozen so that those who were injured or killed could receive the compensation they deserve, especially since families are still, and may always be, suffering the aftermath of these serious attacks.
East Africa Bombing: We have also assisted the victims of the 1998 East Africa Bombing. This incident took place on the morning of August 7, 1998, when trucks with explosives approached the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania. Both trucks gained entry and detonated around the same time, killing 224 people and wounding over 5,000 more. Twelve of those who lost their lives in the Kenya bombing were identified as American citizens. These attacks were found to be linked to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda groups.
These attacks specifically brought Osama bin Laden to the attention of the United States for the first time. It was also these attacks that put bin Laden on the FBI’s list of the 10 most wanted fugitives. Over 20 people have since been indicted in the United States for their role in the bombings and eight are currently still in prison for their roles in the bombings.
Even though it has been over 20 years since these terrorist attacks occurred, our attorneys understand that many families are still suffering in the aftermath of these attacks. We want to help you gain momentum in your case as you attempt to return to normalcy. Victims are still suffering, which is why our attorneys at Fay Law Group are here to fight aggressively for the injured and lost. Our trial attorney Thomas Fortune Fay fought to secure a $957 million judgment for the 23 Tanzanians and Americans who were injured or killed in these attacks and will continue to support those who fall victim to these incidents every year.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case Stemming from a Terrorist Attack
If you have been injured in a terrorist attack in recent years and now you are finding that it is difficult to get back to your average way of life, you probably have questions about the damages that you can pursue in your claim. Many of the injuries caused by terrorist attacks are serious, brutal, and even permanent in some cases, leaving a huge impact on the rest of your life. Medical bills may prove to be difficult to keep up with and the odds of returning to your line of work may also be an impossibility. For this reason, you may be entitled to recover a wide range of damages in your case.
Many of the damages you might be able to receive are compensatory damages, which are the monetary expenses that you have incurred because of your injuries. These types of damages are used to make a victim whole for expenses that they have incurred after their claim. Some of the most common types of special damages include the following:
- Lost earnings due to the inability to return to work
- Loss of future earnings if returning to work in the future is not possible
- Medical bills associated with your injuries
- Cost of future medical care and therapies
- Household expenses and medical equipment
- Money used to get to appointments (travel expenses)
You might be able to receive general damages as well, which are damages that are non-monetary in nature. These damages are not as easy to place a monetary value on because of the fact that they are based around the emotional impact the accident has left on your life. Some of the most common types of general damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or companionship
On top of that, many terrorist claims include aspects like punitive damages. These types of damages are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when a defendant has acted egregiously with outright recklessness and disregard for human life, such as claims involving terrorists who mean harm to those involved in these attacks. When malicious acts take place, you can allege punitive damages, which are meant to punish a defendant for their actions and deter these acts in the future.
If You Have Lost a Loved One to a Terrorist Attack
In many terrorist attacks, it is a grim reality that innocent lives will be lost, as this is what terrorist groups set out to do. Wrongful death suits are governed by state laws, which means that each claim across state lines will differ from state to state. However, you can also bring wrongful death claims against foreign nationals for their role in the loss of your loved one.
There are many different parties that can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved ones. One of the parties that could file a wrongful death claim would be the personal representative of an estate. This is usually the closest surviving relative of a loved one, including the spouse, child, or parent. The family will typically agree on who can be the personal representative of the estate, but sometimes, they will be court-appointed based on various circumstances.
In the midst of a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages incurred. You may be able to obtain compensation for damages such as lost monetary support that you will no longer receive since your loved one will not be able to financially support you. You may also be able to receive compensation for the loss of consortium to a spouse for the lack of relationship that they can now hold with their husband or wife, incurred medical bills or pain and suffering that your loved one experienced before passing away, and funeral and burial costs associated with their death.
Speaking with a Terrorism Claim Attorney
If you have been injured or a loved one has been taken from you by the negligence of a terrorist group, and you are wondering how you can gain compensation for your losses, speaking with a skilled and dedicated attorney at Fay Law Group can help you explore your options. We have decades of experience with civil litigation against foreign governments for terrorist attacks, providing us with a wide understanding of the laws that apply in these cases. We would like to assist you as you work toward compensation for damages that are especially important to you or your family. Please contact us as soon as possible at (202) 589-1300 to determine out how we can help in your time of need.
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