On September 26, 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) finalized a rule that permits service members to submit medical malpractice claims through an administrative, non-adversarial process. This new rule allows military service members to bring claims for injuries that result from medical practice committed by military healthcare providers for the first time in over 70 years.
Until now, the 1950 Feres Doctrine barred service members from filing suit for injuries caused by the medical negligence of military medical providers, even in the most egregious of circumstances.
At Youman & Caputo, we have a military medical malpractice attorney and veteran who is a former active duty U.S. Army Judge Advocate and we have already filed multiple claims under this DoD new program. We understand how to prosecute these claims and are ready to fight for justice on behalf of service members injured as a result of medical negligence. Our military medical malpractice attorneys have significant experience representing clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice cases. Known as the “Small Law Firm for Big Cases,” we understand that every client deserves personal attention, especially when taking on large organizations and institutions in medical malpractice lawsuits.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury at a Military Treatment Facility due to medical malpractice or medical negligence, our attorneys can help. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
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What is Medical Malpractice?
How The New Military Medical Malpractice Process Works
Advantages of This Process
Can a Family Member or Spouse of an Active-Duty Servicemember Sue for Military Medical Malpractice?
How Our Military Medical Malpractice Lawyer Helps
Do You Need a Lawyer to Assist With Your Case?
Potential Military Medical Malpractice Cases
What Damages May Be Available in Your Case?
Speak to a Lawyer Today
Medical malpractice is a tort, or civil wrongdoing, that can give rise to a liability claim against the at-fault person or party. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit occurs when an injured person and their attorney can show the following:
Just as civilians deserve compensation for their suffering due to medical malpractice, current active-duty military service members and retired military also deserve compensation when medical malpractice occurs at a military treatment center.
First, injured service members must provide the Department of Defense with factual bases for the medical malpractice claim: that the military medical provider breached the standard of care and that breach caused actual harm to the service member. The claimant must complete an SF-95 form (claim for damage, injury, or death) and their attorney must provide an affidavit that affirms that the military medical provider breached the standard of care and caused harm to their client.
Next, the DoD takes the claim to be evaluated by non-DoD medical professionals. These external professionals evaluate the care provided to the claimant. If the claim is substantiated, it is evaluated for damages. If it is denied, the claimant and their counsel have 90 days to supplement the claim with a report from an expert. After submitting the supplemental report, the DoD with either reverse or confirm the denial.
Statute of Limitations/Discovery Rule:
Title 10 U.S.C. 2733a(b)(2) requires claims to be presented to the Department of Defense in writing within two years after the claim accrues. A claim accrues as of the latter of the date of the act or omission by a DoD health care provider that is the basis of the malpractice claim; or the date on which the claimant knew, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, of the injury and that malpractice was its possible cause.
This process has some advantages when compared to traditional, civilian medical malpractice cases.
The new DoD programs is far from perfect but it is a step in the right direction in providing justice for injured service members.
In general, family members of a military service member who are not active duty themselves can file medical malpractice lawsuits for the wrongful or negligent actions of a government health care provider under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA allows individuals to bring claims against the federal government for medical malpractice and other specific types of torts.
While an active-duty military member may not be able to personally file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a military doctor or hospital, his or her spouse or military dependent may be eligible to file a claim. This includes a spouse, adult children and other approved family members of an active duty service member.
In general, only immediate family members who are considered dependents of the military personnel are eligible to file a claim. Eligibility can depend on numerous factors, including the circumstances of the alleged act of medical malpractice and the relationship between the claimant and the injured victim. If you’re a family member or spouse who has been injured due to the acts of a VA hospital or military healthcare provider, please see our FTCA page.
An attorney with experience handling military medical malpractice claims under the new DoD rule can provide invaluable advice and counsel while navigating this complicated process. If you or a loved one is a victim of malpractice committed by a military health care provider, the right attorney can help in numerous ways, including:
Most importantly, your lawyer will care about you and your family throughout the legal process. Your lawyer will make sure you have everything you need to heal and recover during this difficult time. An attorney can guide you through the legal process and alleviate stress to give you as much peace of mind as possible.
It is in your best interests to work with a military medical malpractice attorney during an administrative claim. These are nuanced cases where every detail matters. You could waste valuable time or money correcting common mistakes or lose the only chance you have to present an administrative claim. The best way to protect your rights as a victim is to consult with a law firm that has experience handling these cases to present the strongest claim possible to the DoD.
Not all bad outcomes can be considered medical malpractice. Valid medical malpractice claims are typically the result of preventable errors and negligence. Examples include:
To find out if you have grounds to file a military medical malpractice case, schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Youman & Caputo.
Under the new military medical malpractice claims process, you may be eligible for a significant recovery. Case values depend on factors that are exclusive to the case, such as injury severity. A victim with a permanent disability, for example, could be eligible for compensation for years of future estimated costs and losses.
Damages, or financial compensation, that may be available include:
The best way to maximize your financial recovery as a victim of military medical malpractice is to hire an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will seek the financial compensation that you and your family deserve using proven legal strategies. You can trust your attorney to advocate for your best interests every step of the way. Learn more by consulting with an attorney at Youman & Caputo.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of negligence or malpractice on the part of a military medical provider, you now have options. At Youman & Caputo, our military medical malpractice attorneys understand these claims and are ready to help you and your family recover the compensation you need and deserve. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
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