Anyone who has been involved with the military knows: There are complex procedures and protocols for every aspect of life in the military. When the problem at hand increases in importance of complexity, the protocols increase right with it.
A medical malpractice claim is a legal procedure that involves significant complications, legally, scientifically and procedurally. When military servicemembers or officers are harmed by the negligence of a military doctor, the situation is extremely complex.
The new law allowing for medical malpractice claims
Fortunately, there is a new law, signed into law by former president Donald Trump in 2020, that allows for military members to bring medical malpractice claims against military doctors. Before this law was enacted, military members could not bring such claims, so this law is very good news for any military member harmed by the negligence of a military doctor.
You can learn more about this new law by reading our recent blog post on the topic.
It is important to note that this new law allows for military members to file claims against military medical professionals whose negligence resulted in further injuries, illnesses and other losses.
Military members cannot bring claims against non-military doctors under this law, nor can civilians bring claims against military doctors.
How to bring a claim
In general, the process of bringing a military medical malpractice claim under the National Defense Authorization of 2020 is not much different from bring a claim under civilian law.
The process consists of:
- Talking with your attorney: It is important to talk with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who is up to date on the laws regulating these claims.
- Gathering information: Evidence is critical to a successful claim. You will need to gather medical evidence from the doctor or hospital where you were treated, as well as witness testimony. Your lawyer can help you with this step.
- Filing a claim: For military cases, filing a claim involves filling out Standard Form 95, which will start the claim officially. You should work with your attorney when filling out this form and submitting your claim to make sure you don’t make any critical errors that could jeopardize your compensation.
Once the process begins, it will be handled and evaluated by the Department of Defense, rather than by a traditional civilian judge and jury.
Although medical malpractice claims are almost always scientifically and procedurally complicated, with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer, you could obtain compensation for your losses.