USA TODAY recently reported that the Veterans Affairs health system (VA) engaged in concealing dangerous medical errors and misconduct by its healthcare professionals and failed to report this information to the National Practitioner Databank (NPD), placing both Veterans and the public at risk of injury. In light of this report, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and remedies, if you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of being treated at a VA hospital.
An individual who has been a victim of medical error may be entitled to commence an action against the Department of Veterans Affairs under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which allows an injured party to bring an action against the United States to recover compensation for the injuries sustained as a result of the federal employees negligence.
First, an individual must make an administrative claim with the local VA within 2 years from the date that the incident occurred. Then, the VA has six months to conduct an investigation before a lawsuit may be commenced. If the agency denies the administrative claim, a person may either request that the claim be reconsidered or file an action in federal court within six months from the date of denial.
To file an administrative claim with the agency an individual must:
- COMPLETE FORM 95.
- FILE FORM 95 WITH THE PROPER VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE.
PROVIDE THE NATURE OF THE CLAIM AND A SPECIFIED AMOUNT OF MONEY OWED.
- FILE FORM 95 WITHIN 2 YEARS FROM THE DATE THAT THE NEGLIGENCE OCCURRED.
- COLLABORATE AND CORRESPOND WITH THE AGENCY TO RESOLVE THE CLAIM.
If an administrative claim is denied, an action may then be commenced so long as it is within the specified time period to do so.
If you or a loved one are in the process of filing an administrative claim with a VA agency, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. The Standard Form 95 is a complicated document that requires identifying damages, specifying the amount of compensation, and providing a detailed description of the injuries sustained. The failure to properly complete the Standard Form 95 and or file it with the appropriate agency could result in the inability to recover compensation for the injuries sustained. In addition, an experienced attorney can assist in providing any necessary supporting documentation.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of being treated at a VA hospital, it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice and personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Richard P. Rinaldo, Esq are skilled medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.