What is Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Malpractice?
Veterans Affairs medical malpractice is an act of carelessness committed by a doctor or other professional at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who's duties or performance deviates from standard practices, resulting in harm to a VA patient. The majority of VA medical malpractice legal actions are filed against doctors who have neglected to provide reasonable care to a VA patient. VA medical malpractice holds VA employees accountable for behaving in a manner that will not cause harm to the patient. Negligence on the behalf of an employee at the VA can cause injury or even death, which the patient can legally recoup through compensation. When a VA patient is injured by a VA medical professional or other employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, he or she has two legal resolutions available.
- He or she can seek monetary damages under the Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA)
- File a claim with the VA for disability compensation, also known as a Section 1151 claim
When a veteran patient files a claim under Section 1151, he or she can only make a claim of injury resulting from a VA outpatient clinic, hospital, medical examination, surgery, or medical examination. Under the FTCA, a negligent act by any worker of the VA can be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit, including, for example, the cafeteria worker who's hot soup spill caused you get burned.
Monetary damages under the FTCA are not based on an assessment of how the patient's disability potentially prevents the ability to earn a living, such as with the VA's rating system, but rather the suffering and economic loss that has resulted from the injury. To file an administrative FTCA claim with the VA, within two years from the time of injury, the patient must file a Standard Form 95, Claim for Damage, Injury or Death with the VA Regional Council that is responsible for the region in which the injury occurred.
The claim should include the negligence the patient believed caused the injury, the injury, and a specific sum of damages he or she is seeking. It is important to calculate an exact number because the court will not reward any damages exceeding the amount the patient asks. In addition, the VA patient will also need to submit a statement from his or her treating physician, a VA medical exam report, itemized bills for medical expenses, a statement from his or her employer about time away from work, and itemized bills for medical expenses.
If the VA denies the patient's administrative VA claim, he or she will have six months from the date of that denial to file an FTCA lawsuit. If the patient does not file his or her lawsuit within this six month period, he or she may lose their right to receive monetary damages in federal courts. VA patients need a personal injury or disability lawyer to file his or her FTCA lawsuit. FTCA cases can be challenging to win and can take a surmountable amount of time to confer, not to mention, it may be difficult to calculate exact damages on your own.
If you believe you have been injured as a result of VA medical malpractice, Tom Valet is an experienced Veterans Association Medical Malpractice Lawyer and can provide the expert assistance needed to file your FTCA claim and assist you through every step of the process to help ensure success.