Military Law

Filing a Claim Against the VA for Malpractice

Are you a veteran who has received poor medical care? Did you suffer an injury at the hands of a doctor? You may be entitled to compensation. Many veterans receive medical care by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has a responsibility to provide satisfactory care. Negligence on the part of VA hospitals and doctors can lead to injury or even death.

Federal Tort Claims Act

Are you wondering whether you can even go after the VA for malpractice? You're protected by a law known as the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA allows you to file a claim against VA medical centers for poor treatment. The main objective is to receive compensation for any injuries sustained because of negligence.

Time Limit for Benefit Claim

You don't have forever to file a claim. You're required to file the claim within two years from the date you knew or should have known of your injury. Any type of state law limitation period doesn't apply. There are no exceptions for infants or children. Your claim can be dismissed if you miss this two-year time limitation.

Filing a Claim for Medical Malpractice

You can't just go straight to court if you believe a VA medical center committed malpractice. You must file a claim with the VA according to the FTCA. Include facts that support your position. Also, demand a specific amount of money from the VA for compensation. Make sure to investigate how much you should ask for. You may lose your right to ask for more later.

Once the VA receives your claim, it will review it on its merits. The VA has up to six months to examine your claim. If everything works out, the VA will grant you compensation for your injuries. If the VA denies compensation or doesn't decide within six months, you can file a lawsuit in federal court.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the VA

The FTCA allows you to file a lawsuit against the VA for malpractice. This must be done within two years from the date you discovered your injury and its cause. You'll be barred forever from making a claim for your injury if you miss this deadline.

You aren't entitled to a jury trial under the FTCA. Only the judge examines the evidence and makes a decision. The great advantage of this is that your trial process should be much quicker.

Malpractice in a Foreign County

What happens if you're injured in a VA medical center out of the country? You can't file a claim under the FTCA for injures that occur in foreign countries. However, you can file a claim under the Military Claims Act. This act will protect you from negligence in other countries. However, the main difference is that you have no right to file a lawsuit if your claim is denied.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • What are the benefits of having an attorney help me receive compensation under the FTCA?
  • Am I legally required to take a medical examination in order to prove I am injured?
  • How long will the trial process take if I file a lawsuit against the VA?
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