Medical malpractice takes many forms, and like other hospitals, VA medical centers are not immune to errors that harm patients. In fact, we've discussed multiple kinds of VA medical malpractice in recent months:
Unfortunately, it's a common misconception that VA hospitals cannot be held accountable for medical negligence, but they can.
What are the legal options for veterans and their families?
Medical malpractice claims against VA hospitals differ significantly from civilian medical malpractice claims. Specifically, VA negligence claims are brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which requires a legal process that is not required for civilian claims.
In short, to hold the VA and the federal government accountable for your injuries or your loved one's injuries, you will need an experienced FTCA lawyer on your side.
Process and Time Limits
The first step in the FTCA process is filing a notice of claim, and to do that, you need to complete a form called Standard Form 95.
Also, the claim must be filed within two years of discovering the negligence. After the claim is filed, the agency will have six months to investigate. The agency may offer an administrative settlement or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, you can bring a federal tort claim against the government.
Again, to ensure that you receive the maximum available compensation, it is important to have on your side an experienced FTCA lawyer. An attorney can handle the complex claims process while you focus on your health and your family.