Veterans and sometimes their families may choose to be treated by VA hospitals and facilities, which are managed and overseen by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). As with any medical facility, there is the risk of medical negligence or injury at a VA hospitals. Sometimes, veterans and their families sustain serious or permanent disability due to an incorrect diagnosis, incorrect medication dosage, and other errors. These medical errors and this type of medical negligence can lead to fatalities, brain injuries, paralysis, and other complications.
When veterans or their families are injured as a result of possible malpractice, there is a federal law in place to offer protection. This law, the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA), allows veterans and their families to US government in a malpractice suit. It is a good idea for veterans affected by possible malpractice to contact a qualified personal injury attorney after an injury at a VA medical facility. While the FTCA protects veterans and their families, the requirements for filing under the FTCA are quite complex.
Before a veteran can file a claim under the FTCA, he or she must make an administrative claim against the VA clinic, hospital, or facility which caused the injury. This claim must state in full the amount of damages being sought. To make this claim, you need to complete Standard Form 95, available through an attorney or some government agencies.
While it is possible to file a claim on your own, it is generally advisable to consult with a qualified Florida personal attorney first. Once you complete a claim, you lose the right to claim any additional funds, except in very rare cases. It is essential, therefore, to carefully calculate the full amount of your claim accurately. A personal injury attorney can help you do this and can therefore ensure that you receive the full amount you are legally entitled to. This is vital, as it can affect your ability to secure the best quality care for yourself and your family.
Once your claim has been filed, the VA will investigate the claim and review your claim. This will take six months. The VA will then make a decision regarding your claim. The agency may settle for less than your full requested amount, may pay out your claim in full, or may reject your claim. If you have not heard from the VA in six months, this is considered a rejection of your claim. Keep in mind, however, that even if the VA rejects your claim, you may still pursue the issue by filing a federal lawsuit. For this, you will need a good personal injury attorney.
If your case goes to court, you and your attorney will sue under the FTCA. This means that you must generally file your lawsuit within 2 years of your injury. Waiting can affect your claim, so it is important to seek out an attorney very quickly if your claim is rejected. Find an attorney as soon as in the process as you can to safeguard your rights and your claims.