Fighting for Veterans Against Medical Malpractice
At the end of 2019, a historic piece of legislation was signed that will serve Veterans of the U.S. Military.
In Section 731, under Subsection C, of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the Secretary of Defense is now permitted to settle and pay claims for personal injury and death due to medical malpractice.
If you are a veteran and a victim of medical malpractice from a healthcare provider within the Department of Defense and your case meets the necessary qualifications, you may benefit from this legislation and a personal injury lawyer in Durham can help.
Conditions for Legitimate Claims
Under Section 731 of the NDAA, the Secretary of Defense may accept and settle claims, but there are certain requirements for a claim to be allowed.
Other than being a member of the uniformed services, there are five central requirements.
- The claim must be filed by the service member who is the subject of the claim or, in case of incapacitation or death, by an authorized representative.
- The claim must be filed within two years of the accruement of the claim.
- The claim cannot be settled under other provisions of law.
- The personal injury or death was caused by a Department of Defense healthcare provider during services within the scope of employment.
- The personal injury or death occurred in a covered military medical treatment facility.
For Service Members who have suffered personal injury, or their loved ones who grieve their death due to medical malpractice by Department of Defense healthcare providers and whose claims meet these requirements, personal injury attorneys in Durham are a valuable resource.
A Groundbreaking New Level of Care
Prior to the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2020, Military Personnel were prohibited from suing the Federal Government for negligence or wrongful action in many areas, including medical care.
This was because of the Feres Doctrine, originating from the Feres v. United States case of 1950, which released the U.S. Government from liability for injuries to active Service Members due to negligence of other Military Employees.
That decision effectively barred all medical malpractice suits against the Federal Government for military healthcare providers.
This new addition to the NDAA removes that barrier and allows service members to receive justice for negligent medical care.
In a perfect world, medical malpractice suits would be unnecessary and nonexistent. However, if you or a loved one are a Service Member who has suffered due to the negligence or wrongful action of a government-employed healthcare professional – now is the time to act.