The Small Firm for Big Cases

Military Medical Malpractice Attorney

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 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. 

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when an injured person and their attorney can show the following:

  • That the medical provider did not properly adhere to the recognized standard of care in the case or acted carelessly or negligently during diagnosis or treatment to a patient
  • That the provider’s negligence, carelessness, or incompetence caused an injury or death which would not otherwise have occurred
  • That the injury caused damages to the patient including physical harm, pain, impairment or disfigurement, medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of future wages, emotional trauma, or death

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.

How The New Military Medical Malpractice Process Works

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.

The Advantages of This Process

This process has some advantages when compared to traditional, civilian medical malpractice cases.  

  • The process is intended to be efficient and quickly compensate service members for their injuries
  • They process is non-adversarial in nature and does not include depositions, discovery, or trials
  • Claimants and their counsel do not incur the significant expense of traditional medical malpractice litigation
  • Claimants and their families are spared the stress of providing testimony in deposition and trial. 

The new DoD programs is far from perfect but it is a step in the right direction in providing justice for injured service members.

Potential Military Medical Malpractice Cases

Not all bad outcomes can be considered medical malpractice.  Valid medical malpractice claims are typically the result of preventable errors and negligence. Examples include:

  • Surgical cases, including foreign body cases (sponges, clamps, or other implements left in a body cavity) and wrong-site surgery cases (surgery performed on the wrong limb or body part or on the wrong patient)
  • Failure to diagnose cancer cases
  • Misdiagnosis of serious illness
  • Failure to properly monitor serious illnesses
  • Wrong medication administered or prescribed
  • Failure to properly diagnose or treat a stroke or heart attack
  • Failure to diagnose Cauda Equina (lower lumbar disk herniation)
  • Surgical negligence resulting in spinal cord injury
  • Failure to treat an infection
  • Birth injuries
  • Wrongful death from medical negligence or malpractice

Youman & Caputo Can Help

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.