All doctors and other healthcare providers have the duty to uphold a certain standard of care. This standard of care is the proper treatment procedure for their field or the specific condition the patient is facing. Members of the United States military and their dependents can expect this same standard of care when they receive treatment at military hospitals and clinics. When a healthcare provider in this type of setting is negligent, a patient can suffer.
When an injury or worsened condition occurs because of a military doctor’s negligence, the victim cannot file a medical malpractice claim in the same way that he or she would against a civilian doctor. Although a victim can receive compensation for his or her damages stemming from this type of negligence, the process for seeking that compensation is different. In short, active servicemembers cannot file claims against military healthcare providers for malpractice. Veterans, retired military personnel, and all military dependents, however, can.
The Feres Doctrine
The Feres Doctrine is a 1950 ruling that prohibits active service members from filing claims against the federal government for damages related to the injuries they incurred while serving in the military, including those caused by negligence on the part of their care providers. It also prohibits the dependents of active servicemembers from seeking compensation through wrongful death claims against the federal government.
In cases that do not fall into these categories, the United States government may be liable for damages related to injuries caused by a government employee or agency’s negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Seeking compensation from the government can be a complicated process because it involves numerous steps that are not part of a negligence claim involving a civilian.Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Against a Military Doctor
If you are married to an active service member, you can seek compensation for your own damages related to malpractice that occurred while in the care of a VA or DOD healthcare professional. Likewise, if you are a retired service member or a veteran whose injury occurred after your active service ended, you can file a malpractice claim. Work with a lawyer who has specific experience with military medical malpractice claims to ensure that yours is submitted correctly and on time.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you are suffering from an injury or worsened condition because of a doctor or another healthcare provider’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about this process, contact our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with us. We can answer your questions and determine the best way for you to move forward with your case.