If you have been harmed by medical malpractice in a Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital, you may be able to recover substantial compensation for your injuries. VA medical malpractice claims are more complicated than regular medical malpractice claims and you will need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your state. Your attorney must determine who can be held responsible for your injuries, based on the unique circumstances in your case, to determine which laws will apply.
Federal Tort Claims Act or State Medical Malpractice Laws?
If you are suing the VA, you must file under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which involves different procedures and requirements than a regular medical malpractice case brought under state laws.
To further complicate matters, some doctors and other individuals working with the VA are independent contractors, making them liable under state law as individuals rather than under the FTCA as VA employees. If an independent contractor caused your injuries you cannot sue the VA, you sue the independent contractor, unless their day-to-day work was closely supervised by the VA, creating a relationship more like the employer-employee relationship.
Active Duty Service Members
The Feres doctrine bars lawsuits for medical malpractice injuries to active duty service members. That means that active duty service members cannot sue for their own injuries, nor can their loved ones bring a wrongful death claim. However, claims can be brought for medical malpractice injuries to spouses, children and other dependents.
And this brings us back to the subject of independent contractors. If an independent contractor caused your medical malpractice injuries or the death of our loved one, you may have a claim against the independent contractor under state law as mentioned above.
To learn more about VA medical malpractice, your rights, and whether you have a good case, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.