In most cases you must file the administrative claim in writing with the appropriate Federal agency (using the appropriate forms and paperwork) within two years after the tort, accident or injury. The federal agency then has six months to investigate. During that time the agency may deny the claim early, or try to negotiate a settlement. At any time the agency denies the claim in writing sent by certified or registered mail, the next step is to file suit in federal court. If the 6 months expires and the agency still has not denied the claim or settled with you, you are free to consider it a denial and file the claim in Federal court anyway.