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Can I file a medical malpractice claim against the VA?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Suppose you are a military veteran who used Veterans Administration hospitals and doctors in Idaho. In that case, you may mistakenly believe you cannot file a claim against the federal government if your care was subpar. Nevertheless, you or a family member covered under VA rules can file a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

Know your rights when filing a VA medical malpractice claim

The FTCA allows you to file a veterans medical malpractice claim if you have received negligent care resulting in an injury. Medical errors, including those in surgery involving medication or anesthesia, an omission or misdiagnosis are several examples of what actions can lead to medical malpractice.

If you had a family member who died due to medical errors, you could also file a “wrongful death” claim on behalf of the victim’s estate and heirs. Medical malpractice victims may also qualify for disability benefits under Section 1151. However, the latter must have occurred at a VA hospital, outpatient clinic or during a medical examination or surgery by a VA doctor. Some patients may qualify for an FTCA claim and Section 1151 disability benefits. Still, the VA will withhold disability until the amount offsets the total paid in a Federal Tort Claim settlement.

How to file a VA medical malpractice claim

Often, veterans mistakenly believe that if they file claims against the VA, they will receive fewer disability benefits if they qualify for the latter. What the VA requires is for victims to follow its claims process thoroughly. The statute of limitations for VA medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the malpractice. You must also submit appropriately completed and signed “Form 95, Claim for Damages, Injury or Death.”

Plaintiffs whose claims are denied on an administrative level have six months to file a lawsuit in court. Missing any deadline or providing incomplete information will jeopardize a valid claim and lead to further denial. As with any legal claim, ensure sufficient records and evidence to back it up.