Spotlight on Federal Tort Claims Act: How to Sue the VA for Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury as a result of medical malpractice at the VA, you may be able to bring a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the United States government and recover monetary damages to help care for you or your loved ones.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) provides a limited waiver of sovereign immunity and allows injured parties to sue the federal government for medical malpractice committed at VA Medical Centers, such as the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia and the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia, Outpatient Clinics, and Community Based Outpatient Clinics around Georgia.

Administrative Claim is First Step to Sue VA for Medical Malpractice

Under the FTCA, an injured person must first file an administrative claim with the responsible federal agency prior to suing the VA for medical malpractice in court.  Generally, an administrative claim is filed using a Standard Form 95, which can be found here.

An injured party must file an administrative claim within two (2) years from the date of the injury.  Once an administrative claim is filed, the injured party must wait for a six-month period for the agency to accept or reject the claim.  Importantly, the passage of the six-month period without an express answer from the agency is treated as an agency denial under the law.

An injured party must submit the Standard Form 95 with care – the Form must describe the nature and extent of the injury and submit a “sum certain” for the amount claimed as damages.  The injured party must claim all monetary damages on the Standard Form 95 because the injured cannot sue the VA for medical malpractice for greater damages than submitted on the Form.

Filing Lawsuit to Sue VA for Medical Malpractice

Once the agency’s six-month time period to respond to the administrative claim has expired, a lawsuit to sue the VA for medical malpractice must be filed within the subsequent six months.  To sue the VA for medical malpractice, the injured party files a lawsuit in the United States District Court either: 1) where the injured party resides, or 2) where the negligent act or omission caused the injury.  When filing the Complaint against the United States, the Complaint can only name the United States of America as the defendant.  The injured party cannot name the individual employee of federal agency.

Damages Recoverable for VA Medical Malpractice

Under the FTCA, damages are limited to the recovery of actual damages, such as medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages to compensate the injured party.  Punitive damages are not allowed against the United States.

Crowder Stewart LLP Leading Representation in FTCA Cases

The attorneys at Crowder Stewart LLP are leading trial lawyers to represent injured parties in FTCA claims against the United States.  After serving in the Department of Justice, they have extensive experience in FTCA cases and unique and highly valuable insights into the government’s handling of cases and the best ways to maximize a client’s recovery.  If we can assist you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us at (706) 434-8799.

Welcoming FTCA Case Referrals from Other Lawyers

Crowder Stewart LLP has a history of generating substantial attorney’s fees for counsel associating our firm – often much higher than could be achieved by the referring attorney acting alone. We work with referring lawyers to maximize recovery for the clients. The firm’s experienced attorneys, strong resources, and outstanding reputation offer the best choice for your firm’s FTCA cases.