Millions of service members and their families receive healthcare through military medical facilities. Like all citizens, military personnel and dependents deserve quality medical care, especially for service-related conditions.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is not uncommon among military medical hospitals and clinics. Thousands of service members suffer unnecessary injuries and illnesses yearly due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of a military or VA facility, you deserve financial compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you navigate the legal process and recover a fair settlement for your damages.

Contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional provides substandard care, causing injury, illness, or even wrongful death to a patient. It can take many forms, such as:

  • A military doctor fails to diagnose an illness correctly or within a reasonable amount of time
  • A military doctor prescribes the wrong drug, drug form, or dosage
  • A surgeon commits surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong site, amputating the wrong limb, or leaving tools inside the patient’s body
  • A nurse administers the wrong drug or does so incorrectly
  • A laboratory technician conducts a test incorrectly or misinterprets readings, leading to inaccurate results

Military Medical Malpractice

Can You Sue the Military For Medical Malpractice?

Veterans and active-duty service members from the Navy, Army, or Air Force can seek compensation from the United States government for service-related injuries and illnesses, including medical malpractice.

What Are the Feres Doctrine and Federal Tort Claims Act?

The Feres Doctrine bars military service members from filing claims against the federal government. Previously, it prevented active-duty military personnel and dependents from filing lawsuits against the government for injuries and illnesses incurred during service. Military personnel and families had protested against this doctrine for decades, citing its unfairness.

On the other hand, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) only allowed service members and dependents to file medical malpractice claims if they were not on active duty. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the US government is the defendant in military medical malpractice cases instead of the federal employee at fault.

What is the National Defense Authorization Act?

Former President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on December 20, 2020. Under this new law, active military members can file medical malpractice claims and recover compensation from the federal government.

The Act states that military medical malpractice claims must be for injuries “incident to service” or “almost any injury or illness” caused by substandard care in a military hospital or treatment facility. The Defense Department will pay claims under $100,000, while claims greater than that will be reviewed and paid by the Treasury Department.

The new law makes it much easier for military families and personnel to recover compensation for medical negligence, unlike in previous years when only non-active duty personnel could file claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

How to File a Military Medical Malpractice Claim Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

Military families and service members not on active duty can file claims if they were injured by medical professionals in a military hospital or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility.

To file an administrative claim for military or VA medical negligence, you must prove:

  • The defendant was acting within the scope of their official duties when the malpractice occurred
  • The medical professional acted negligently
  • You suffered an injury caused by the medical professional’s negligence

Furthermore, you must file an administrative claim using a particular form (Standard Form 95) within two years of the incident. It should contain details of how the alleged malpractice occurred and the resulting harm. Also, the form includes a field where you can state the specific amount (“sum certain”) you are claiming for personal injury or death.

Once you submit the form to the correct government agency, you must work with the agency to resolve your claim. If you cannot resolve the claim administratively, you could file a lawsuit at least six months after submitting your claim.

The administrative process can have many pitfalls if you do not have legal assistance. Our VA medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience with these cases and can help you navigate each step.

How Can Active Military Members File Claims for Medical Malpractice?

Filing a claim under the NDAA is similar to the FTCA claims process. Active personnel and family members can pursue compensation for medical errors in military hospitals and other treatment facilities.

On the other hand, reservists can file a claim if the personal injury or death occurred while the reservist was in a federal duty status.

The claimant must prove that the at-fault military doctor or healthcare professional “had a professional duty to the patient involved and by act or omission breached that duty in a manner that proximately caused the harm.”

The deadline for filing is up to two years after the alleged medical malpractice occurred.

If you are unsure how to start the claims process, our law firm can help.

Can Family Members Sue for Military Medical Malpractice?

Sometimes, family members or dependents can sue the military for medical malpractice if the service member has died or has become incapacitated. However, it can be challenging due to the numerous laws protecting the military from liability.

Nevertheless, our law firm’s VA medical malpractice lawyers can help you file a claim with the United States government for your loved one’s injuries or wrongful death.

What Evidence Do You Need?

Proving the negligence of military doctors and other professionals can be challenging without legal help. You will need an army medical malpractice lawyer who can help you gather substantial proof, such as:

  • Medical records, e.g., prescriptions, laboratory results, etc.
  • Records of the military doctors or military hospitals that handled your care
  • Expert testimony supporting the causation between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries
  • Proof of economic losses
  • A second opinion from a licensed physician demonstrating how the defendant breached their duty of care

To avoid losing critical evidence, do not throw away anything related to your or your loved one’s medical records, including invoices and receipts. Make duplicates before forwarding documents to your lawyer.

Where to File Your Military Medical Malpractice Claim

Active duty military personnel can present their claims to the appropriate agency:

  • Army Medical Malpractice
    • Nearest Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
    • Center Judge Advocate of the Medical Center in question
    • US Army Claims Service, 4411 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755
  • Navy Medical Malpractice
    • Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit, 9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 205, Norfolk, Virginia 23511-2949
  • Air Force Medical Malpractice
    • Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at the nearest Air Force Base or
    • Air Force Legal Operations Agency, 1500 W Perimeter Road, Suite 1700, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762 POC: Medical Law Branch, Air Force Legal Operations Agency/JACC 240-612-4620 or DSN 612-4620

Veterans should file medical malpractice cases with the correct VA office. Our law firm can help you present or mail a claim to the right agency if you are unsure how to proceed.

It is crucial to start the process as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline. Moreover, it usually takes at least six months or more to resolve a claim, meaning you will have to wait a significant amount of time to receive compensation.

What Damages Can You Recover from a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Our experienced military medical malpractice lawyers can help you recover fair financial compensation for the following economic and non-economic losses:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses: Out-of-pocket hospitalization costs, surgery, therapy, emergency transportation, medication, and future medical bills.
  • Disability: Mobility aid expenses, rehabilitation costs, emotional anguish, and other related damages if you become disabled due to negligent medical care.
  • Pain and Suffering: Financial compensation for physical and emotional injuries, including physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, etc.
  • Loss of Quality of Life: Financial compensation for quality or enjoyment of life lost due to medical malpractice.
  • Lost Wages: Past and future income lost during recovery or while caring for an injured loved one.
  • Wrongful Death: Funeral or burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, loss of consortium, and other related damages if your loved one dies due to medical malpractice.

Compensation for military malpractice cases vary, often depending on the extent of the victim’s damages. During your free case evaluation, the VA medical malpractice attorneys at our law firm will determine how much you should receive in compensation based on the facts of your case.

How a Military or VA Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

Army, Air Force, and Navy medical malpractice cases are often complicated since the claimant bears the burden of proof. Instead of going through the administrative process on your own, allow our law firm to help you:

  • Investigate how the malpractice occurred
  • Identify at-fault parties and establish their role in the malpractice
  • Consult other medical physicians to determine precisely how the at-fault medical doctor was negligent
  • Calculate the extent of your losses
  • Collect other evidence to support your claim, such as hospital and service records.
  • File an administrative claim on your behalf within the statute of limitations
  • File a federal lawsuit if the claim is unsuccessful

Talk to The Best Military Medical Malpractice Law Firm Today

Air Force, Army, and Navy service members and veterans seek healthcare from dozens of military medical treatment facilities across the country. Sadly, malpractice occurs even in the best military hospitals, causing immense financial and emotional burdens yearly to thousands of military personnel.

Did you or a loved one suffer serious personal injury from medical malpractice at a military facility? If so, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC attorneys can help you pursue fair financial compensation.

We have extensive experience in helping active personnel and veterans receive compensation for serious injury and wrongful death caused by the government’s negligence.

Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.

Our lawyers handle all accepted malpractice claims on a contingency fee basis. Under this agreement, you don’t have to pay our legal fees unless we make a financial recovery.

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