When active-duty service members, veterans, or their dependents suffer injury or death due to a military or veteran affairs (VA) doctor's negligence, there is an option to file a medical malpractice claim. However, many people are unaware that the process of making a medical malpractice claim against the U.S. military or VA is more complex than a typical claim against a civilian medical provider. We will discuss several common reasons why military and VA medical malpractice claims get denied and how an experienced attorney can help you navigate this complicated process.
1. Lack of medical evidence:
One of the most common reasons military or VA medical malpractice claims get denied is due to a lack of medical evidence. The military and VA often require specific documentation and evidence from treating physicians to support the claim. If there is insufficient medical evidence or documentation, the claim will likely be denied. An experienced attorney can help gather the necessary medical documentation and evidence to strengthen your case.
2. Failure to meet the statute of limitations:
In most states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is two or three years from the date of the injury. However, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims against the military or VA is different. The deadline to file an administrative claim is two years from the date of the injury, and if denied, a lawsuit must be filed within six months. If the deadline is missed, the claim will be denied. An attorney with experience in military and VA malpractice claims can ensure that deadlines are met and avoid any pitfalls.
3. Sovereign immunity:
Another reason military and VA medical malpractice claims get denied is due to sovereign immunity. This means that the “king can do no wrong,” and the U.S. government cannot be sued without its consent. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the government's sovereign immunity, but only for certain claims. An attorney familiar with military and VA malpractice law can evaluate your case and determine if it falls under the FTCA and if you are eligible to file a claim.
4. Causation issues:
Even if there is enough medical evidence to support the claim and the case falls under the FTCA, causation is often another issue that comes up. To prove malpractice, it must be evident that the medical provider's actions caused harm. If the injury or death was caused by unrelated factors, the claim will likely be denied. An experienced military and VA malpractice attorney can analyze the evidence and help demonstrate the causal connection between the medical provider's negligence and your injury or loss.
5. Poor legal representation:
Finally, many military or VA medical malpractice claims are denied due to poor legal representation. Military and VA medical malpractice cases are often complex and differ greatly from one case to the next. An inexperienced attorney may overlook a critical piece of evidence or miss a deadline, leading to a denied claim. To avoid these pitfalls, it is crucial to seek the help of an attorney experienced in military and VA medical malpractice law.
Trial Lawyers Representing Victims Across the United States
Filing a medical malpractice claim against the military or VA requires navigating a complex process. At National Trial Law, our experienced team of military and VA medical malpractice attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of patients who have suffered harm due to medical negligence.
Our military and VA medical malpractice attorneys are ready to provide comprehensive, personalized guidance throughout each stage of the litigation process. Call or contact us online for a free consultation.