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Military Claims Act

How do I file a claim if I was injured outside the U.S.?

The Military Claims Act was enacted to define the claim filing procedures for government-related injuries that occur outside of the United States and its territories. Since military families often receive healthcare services outside U.S. borders, the MCA outlines important steps and timelines for seeking compensation for military medical negligence and malpractice. If you have been injured by an employee of the U.S. government, you are entitled to file a written claim for compensation of personal injuries. Under the guidelines of the MCA, the claim is directed against the branch of the military where the injuries happened.

Once a claim is filed against the appropriate agency, the Army, Navy or Air Force will conduct a thorough investigation and make a judgment to uphold or deny the claim for compensation. For military medical negligence claims, an injured Marine follows the MCA guidelines established for Navy personnel. If your claim is denied, you do not have the right to file a lawsuit even though you may disagree with findings or rulings as determined by the federal government. If the government rules the claimant's injuries were the result of military medical malpractice by the offending agency, then money damages are awarded.

What Happens if My Claim is Denied?

When the appropriate government agency rules against a military medical negligence claim, the injured party can appeal the decision to an official of the Department of Defense (DOD). A senior official for the DOD will review the case and render a decision for the claimant's appeal. That decision is considered to be "Final". Because there are no provisions for a judicial review of the senior official's decision, cases prepared under the Military Claims Act should be handled differently than those filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act for stateside medical injuries and should include impeccable supporting reports from medical experts. After all, the natural tendency for the government agency is to defend the actions of its employees.

Do I Have the Right to Sue?

If you were injured by an employee of the United States government outside the borders of our country, you do not have the right to sue the federal government. A personal injury or wrongful death claim made under the provisions of the Military Claims Act is an administrative adjudication and exactly follows the guidelines set forth by the appropriate government agency. That's why it is important to seek the advice and skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file the initial claim. At Spohrer & Dodd, our attorneys and team of medical experts can review the specifics of your claim and accurately prepare a case for presentation and/or appeal. Call today or use our website's "Do I Have A Case?" contact form for a prompt response.

NOTE: Each branch of the military publishes their regulations for claims filed under both the Military Claims Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act.