Military personnel in dire need of medical assistance have a right to adequate, competent and premium treatment. Negligence at the cost of human life is not just accidental but life-threatening. People who suffer from military medical malpractice are entitled to file a claim against the facilities.
DEFINITION OF MILITARY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Military medical malpractice is medical malpractice by a doctor appointed by a military hospital or a military medical facility as a whole. When the facility provides inadequate and insufficient care to the patients admitted at the hospital or clinic that may result in personal injury, harm, accident or more seriously, a wrongful death the patient or their family have a right to file for a military medical malpractice claim at court. Along with serious physical injuries, a person and their family suffer from severe financial loss too due to medical negligence which is grounds enough to file for a claim. Active duty military, reserved military members, retired members and their families experience and are victims of military medical malpractice.
FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT AND ITS IMPORTANCE
Most military facilities are federal agencies. Therefore, if a person is filing a case against military medical malpractice, they are suing the federal government. A term called ‘sovereign immunity’ protects the government from such lawsuit as :
- The U.S government cannot be sued without its consent
- The U.S government has immunity to all civil lawsuits and prosecution unless it waives sovereign immunity.
The federal tort claims act (FTCA) is a federal law that waives sovereign immunity and provides legal procedures for victims who have suffered physical as well as financial loss due to negligence of employees of the U.S government such as medical malpractice. Because of this act, military medical malpractice victims can now file a lawsuit against the facilities and get compensation for their losses.
MILITARY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS
The real question is, can you sue the military for medical malpractice? For active-duty members, filing a claim has certain limitations due to Feres doctrine. Feres doctrine prevents people who are injured due to military service from successfully suing the federal government. However, need not worry as the national defense authorization act has provided a way to recover damages occurred to active duty members by medical malpractice.
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORISATION ACT
On December 20, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the national defense authorization act due to which active-duty members are now entitled to seek compensation for the loss caused by medical malpractice. However, this new law has some limitations:
- Members are not allowed to file a claim for malpractice that happened in a combat zone.
- Members are not allowed to sue in federal court and must be evaluated in the administrative process
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
A time period that is set to file a claim is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a military medical malpractice claim under FCTA is 2 years. If that time has passed without filing a claim, the person affected cannot sue the facility.
Medical malpractice cases are complex and require experience as well as a thorough investigation that is why legal help is advised if you or someone you know has been injured due to medical malpractice caused by a military facility.