When you are injured by a healthcare professional, you have the legal right to sue for damages. But if you or a family member was injured in a military hospital? Can you sue the military hospital for medical malpractice?
According to federal law, you cannot hold a federal employee personally liable for any injuries or damages caused while they are on the job. However, thanks to the Federal Tort Claims Act, you can file a claim against the government to recover any damages caused by the federal employee's actions, including those in military hospitals.
But there are special rules you need to know before starting a military medical malpractice claim.
Military medical malpractice occurs when an individual is injured due to the negligence of a military healthcare provider or facility. Common examples include:
To prove military malpractice, you, as the injured victim, will need to show the following:
In a standard medical malpractice claim, you can file a suit against the physician, healthcare workers, or facility that caused the injury. But a military medical malpractice claim is different. Instead of the doctor or the hospital, you will be filing a claim with the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) .
According to FTCA, any injured party can hold the government liable for the injuries caused by employees, representatives, or federal government entities, such as a V.A. hospital.
For military personnel who have been injured in a military hospital outside the United States, you have the right to file a lawsuit under the Military Claims Act (MCA). Like the FTCA, it allows those who received injuries outside of the U.S. to file a claim.
Up until 2020, only military dependents, retired personnel, and veterans were allowed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. But the Department of Defense recently published new rules allowing active service members to file a claim against the military for medical malpractice.
Before filing a military medical malpractice claim, you need to file an administrative claim with the U.S. government. To file the administrative claim, the injured victim can use a Standard Form 95, Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death, also known as an SF95. It’s essential to fill out an administrative claim with the government; not only does this give the government a chance to settle the claim, but many courts may toss out your military medical malpractice lawsuit if you don’t file an SF95 first.
The administrative claim must include the following information:
You will also need to file documentation that proves your claim satisfies all these requirements. Finally, you have to file the claim with the government within two years of the incident.
Once you submit the claim, the medical facility has six months from the date the claim was submitted to review it. After the claim is reviewed, the government will either deny the claim or provide a settlement. If the claim is rejected or the compensation is too low, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in federal court.
If your claim has been denied or you’re unhappy with the settlement, you will need to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer that has the experience necessary to fight on your behalf in the courtroom. With over 100 years of collective experience, Regan Zambri Long PLLC has handled military medical malpractice claims throughout the DC Metro area. We are skilled trial lawyers who’ve achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts for our clients for over three decades.
Don’t delay if you were injured at a military hospital and need help filing a claim under the FTCA. Instead, contact our Washington, DC military medical malpractice lawyers today for a free consultation.