Graeme Samuels* Medical malpractice can happen anywhere, and the military field is no exception. The typical case of military medical malpractice might involve an injury occurring due to the negligence of a military doctor or another medical professional.
The ability to file such lawsuits resulted from an historic law change that permitted military service members to file medical malpractice claims for damages against the Defense Department and the provisions of such claims were published in 2021.
Previously, members of the US military were limited in what they could do following such events due to the Feres doctrine, which has banned service members from suing the military for decades and lead to widespread disgruntlement regarding the situation.
As a victim of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the responsible professional for the negligence. But in the case of military malpractice when you should file a lawsuit?
What is Military Medical Malpractice?
Military medical malpractice is the dereliction of a medical professional’s duty that can occur when a military personnel is injured or becomes ill while on active duty. The injuries and illnesses can range from minor to life-threatening and can occur during the military personnel’s service.
Medical Malpractice in the Military: Types of Injuries
Some of the injuries that are considered military medical malpractice include:
-Injuries sustained during combat
-Injuries sustained while training
-Injuries due to the negligence of a military doctor or other medical personnel
-Injuries due to the failure of military equipment
When Can You File a Military Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In the event of your loved one’s injury or death as a result of military medical negligence, you may think you can file a lawsuit. However, the answer to this depends on several factors.
Before filing suit, there are a few things to consider, such as whether the doctor or other healthcare provider was working within the scope of their employment with the military and whether the incident occurred on a military base or during deployment.
You will also need to determine whether the doctor or other healthcare provider was a civilian contractor or a federal government employee.
If you believe you have the right to a military medical malpractice lawsuit, the first step is to contact an attorney who can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.
Expert military malpractice attorneys have experience handling military medical negligence cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
1) They Help You Collect The Financial Compensation You Deserve
It is no secret that medical bills can be expensive, especially if you require long-term care or treatment. An attorney will help you receive the total financial compensation you are entitled to under the law. It includes your current medical expenses and any future costs associated with your injuries.
Additionally, an attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to get a fair settlement. If the insurance firm refuses to cooperate, your attorney will not hesitate to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
By availing the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can avoid the financial burden of someone else’s negligence. Hiring an experienced military medical malpractice attorney ensures that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
2) They Know What To Do In These Cases And Can Set Up A Case Quickly
Military medical negligence cases are different from civilian cases in a few ways.
For one, the procedures for filing a lawsuit are different.
You must file a “Notice of Claim” within two years of the incident date. This notice must be sent to the Department of Defense, not to the military hospital or doctor you are suing.
You will also need to file a “Certificate of Merit” with your lawsuit. It is a document signed by a medical professional that says that you have a valid case against the military.
Another difference is that you cannot sue the United States government directly. You must sue the individual doctor or hospital employees involved in your care.
Finally, you will need to prove that negligence was the cause of your injuries. It can be challenging, but an experienced attorney will know how to build a strong case in your favor.
3) They Know How To Work With Judges, Juries, Or Arbiter
Judges are often more sympathetic to military personnel and their families, but a good lawyer will still be able to get you the best possible outcome.
Military medical malpractice is a very specialized area of law, so you must find an attorney with experience with these cases. You can check the portfolio to see if they have handled similar cases in the past.
A military medical malpractice attorney can represent any service member, veteran, or spouse that was treated by US Military doctors and facilities overseas during their active-duty military service, as well as any dependents of those individuals being recognized as beneficiaries under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) or Aid & Attendance program (AMP).
Whether you are a service member, veteran, or civilian injured by military medical malpractice, you have the right to file a claim. To learn about the legal options and how to file a claim, contact experienced military medical malpractice attorneys and determine what course of action is best open to you in such events.
Graham Samuels writes about military law, legal issues and liability in both medical and consumer law cases.