What Is Military Medical Malpractice?

Doctor showing surprise over e-ray showing medical instrument left in patient

Seeking justice for medical malpractice can be stressful, especially when survivors of medical errors are often already struggling with the emotional, physical, and financial scars of the medical injury. Suing for medical malpractice is something most of us hope we will never have to consider. Unfortunately, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study from Johns Hopkins

Sometimes, those errors even occur while under the care of trusted military doctors. Concerns about suing the military for medical malpractice should not stop you from reaching out for help when you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic medical experience while under the care of a military medical professional.

Can You Sue the Military for Medical Malpractice?

Civilian patients of military care, including dependents such as the spouses and children of active-duty military, have long been able to bring suits against the military. Furthermore, a 2019 change to federal law means that the military must now also implement administrative processes for hearing medical malpractice claims by active-duty members of the Armed Forces. 

Military malpractice claims can be filed for claims that take place in all 50 states, all US territories, and even military bases overseas. But these can be difficult and protracted legal battles.

What Does Malpractice Mean?

Medical malpractice means the healthcare professional entrusted with caring for the patient failed to uphold their duties carefully. When this happens, survivors of medical malpractice may have a reason to file a lawsuit.

To be considered for a malpractice suit, the claim must, at minimum, meet a few characteristics:

  • Standard of care violation. Medical professionals simply have not acted in a way that meets what the medical profession accepts as the basic standard of good care. 
  • Causation of injury. Malpractice claims must prove that the standard of care violation caused injury to the patient. 
  • Appropriate timing. Medical malpractice claims can only be filed in a certain window of time called a statute of limitations. For military claims, this may be only two years. 

How Do I Know If I Have a Case?

If you are wondering whether you or your loved one has a reason to sue the military for malpractice, consider that malpractice can take many forms:

  • Failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis
  • Misreading or misinterpreting laboratory results
  • Disregarding or ignoring patient history
  • Failure to order proper diagnostic testing
  • Failure to recognize presenting symptoms
  • Surgical errors or delays, or wrong-site surgery
  • Improper medication or dosage 
  • Unnecessary surgery, including caesareans
  • Inadequate follow-up, postoperative, or aftercare
  • Premature hospital discharge or failure to admit
  • Birth injuries, such as from exposure to chemicals

You do not have to face this alone. Deciding whether to sue the military for medical malpractice is a big decision that should be made with the guidance of experts in the field. If you feel that your claim meets the characteristics above, reach out to JJS for review by a competent, trustworthy legal professional. Some of the victories achieved by Janet, Janet and Suggs have resulted in multimillion-dollar judgments for survivors of negligent care such as mismanaged or delayed deliveries, poor postoperative care, and delayed resuscitation.

For over 40 years, our firm has been securing justice for service members, veterans, and their families. If you or a loved one has been harmed by military medical negligence, our team is here to fight for the compensation and justice your family deserves. There are no fees until we win, so contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. We’ll help guide you down the road to recovery. 

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