How to Sue a Veterans Administration Hospital
When you have been injured at a Veterans Administration Hospital, you have the right to sue the United States of America under a federal law called the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA").
The First Step: Filing a Notice of Claim
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, you must file a "notice of claim" known as the Standard Form 95 within two years from the date of the medical malpractice. If you do not file the Standard Form 95 within two years from the date of the incident, you will forever lose your rights to sue. You can obtain the form for the Standard Form 95 online and complete the form without a lawyer.
The Standard Form 95 is typically served upon the attorneys for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the region where the incident occurred. If you live in California, you will need to locate the counsel's office for the Department of Veterans Affairs in your region. The Standard Form 95 will contain instructions explaining the procedures for serving it upon counsel's office at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Second Step: The Six-Month Waiting Period
The United States of America has six months from the date that the Standard Form 95 was filed to "accept" or "reject" your claim. Typically, the USA will do nothing during this six-month period. Once the six-month period expires, you can then file the lawsuit in the federal court where the incident occurred, under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
If you are unsure whether your case has merit, you should file the Standard Form 95 right away. If you later learn that your claim has no merit, there is still no harm in filing the Standard Form 95. If you fail to file the Standard Form 95 within the two-year deadline, you will be barred from bringing a lawsuit.
During the six-month waiting period, you can get your medical records and have a medical malpractice lawyer review your case. Once the six-month waiting period ends, your lawyer should be able to tell you whether your case has merit.
What to do Next
If you have questions or want more information about the Federal Tort Claims Act, I encourage you to get a FREE copy of my book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at my website, www.protectingpatientrights.com or by calling 1-866-889-6882. I will be happy to speak with you about your potential case if you have questions or want more information.