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Military Medical Negligence

Who can sue the government for military medical negligence in the U.S.?

Patients who receive treatments at a military or veterans healthcare facility in the United States have a right to safe and competent medical care. When this right is not fulfilled, that patient may be entitled to file a lawsuit for military medical negligence under the guidelines of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). All non-active military, to include spouses and children of active-duty military members, who received substandard medical care from a stateside military facility are eligible to bring claims under the FTCA. However, the "Feres Doctrine" prohibits military members from suing the federal government for personal injuries received while on active duty. So, not everyone who has suffered from military medical malpractice may sue under the provisions of the FTCA.

Since this is a complex area of military law, you should consult with an attorney who has the experience and resources to review the specifics of your claim and recommend the best course of action to seek compensation.

Why Do I Have to File an Administrative Claim?

Filing a lawsuit against the government is complex and requires strict compliance with a rigorous set of procedures. Before a case can be filed against the United States, formal notice (an administrative claim) must be issued. Once the administrative claim is received, the government has up to six months to respond to the pre-suit notice before your case can proceed. During this time, the representatives of the government may elect to take administrative actions that can include an offer of settlement. Since the compensation awarded is based on the amount stated in the administrative claim, it is crucial to consult with an experienced military personal injury attorney prior to submitting the pre-suit form. If the government fails to respond to the administrative claim within six months, the claimant can file a lawsuit in federal court under the provisions of the FTCA. A federal court judge will hear the case and determine to what extent the government is liable for the claimant's medical injuries.