John Salazar, Congressman (D - CO)
This is a type of Federal Tort Claim that may be made for injuries one suffers as the result of medical malpractice at a VA facility and/or by VA personnel. Like medical malpractice claims, these are complex and require a review by an appropriate medical professional that can offer his or her opinion on whether any negligence occurred.
Unlike medical malpractice claims, however, a plaintiff must follow special procedures when filing a claim against the VA. Rather than being able to file a lawsuit in court a claimant, with the help of an attorney, must fill out a claim form and file it directly with the VA. The VA then investigates the claim and decides whether it will take responsibility for the incident, or, whether it will deny responsibility and grant the claimant the right to sue.
If the VA denies a claim, the claimant can follow an internal appeals procedure. If not successful at the appeals level, the claimant will be granted the right to sue and can file a lawsuit against the VA in federal court.
These claims can involve any or all medical treatment a veteran receives at a VA facility. This includes the failure to diagnose, the failure to treat, and misdiagnosis. In short, medical claims against the VA are as varied as the medical issues and treatment a veteran may have.
In addition to the reasons you would need a lawyer for a standard medical malpractice claim, the VA has certain requirements and time limits for making a claim and filing an appeal, so it is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the Federal Tort Claim process to assist you. Contact us if you are concerned about care you or a loved one received at a VA facility.