Federal Tort Claims Act Process
The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute which allows Veterans to sue VA hospitals, doctors, and medical centers for medical malpractice. This is a complex area of the law with many interconnected parts and strict deadlines. The basics are as follows:
- An Administrative Claim is filed with the VA describing the injury or claim. This must be filed within a strict period of time after the injury occurred or the claim accrued.
- The claim must describe the injury and must demand a monetary amount.
- Following the filing of this demand, the VA has 6 months to respond. If no response is made, then suit may be filed in the Federal Courts.
- If the VA makes a response, settlement negotiations may begin.
- If the claim proceeds to the Federal Courts, then the case will be heard by a Federal Judge. The right to a jury trial is not available.