Medical Malpractice Claims Against the VA are Governed by State & Federal Law
Medical malpractice claims against the VA will be governed by both state and federal law. State law will govern the medical malpractice claim itself.
Because the VA is a federal agency, the claim will also be governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act. Both are extremely important and both sets of rules, requirements and procedures must be met.
State Law Governs the Medical Malpractice Claim Itself
This is a vast topic best left for individual case analysis. However, there are a couple of basic points for a patient to understand.
Basically, a patient harmed by VA medical malpractice in New Mexico will have all the protections afforded patients under New Mexico law. Likewise, the New Mexico patient will be governed and held to all the same standards that would apply to non-VA medical malpractice claims.
There are unique rules associated with New Mexico medical malpractice claims. These must be followed while also abiding by the rules and deadlines under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Federal Law Governs Claims Against Federal Entities Such as the VA
Because the VA is a federal agency, it receives a fair amount of protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The FTCA has a number of special requirements not present in claims against other non-federal entities. These are primarily related to deadlines and filing procedures for VA claims under the FTCA.
There are numerous rules and deadlines associated with filing a claims against the VA for medical malpractice under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The first requirement relates to the administrative claim filing requirement. Basically, an administrative claims must be filed prior to filing a lawsuit. The admin claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of medical negligence absent exceptions under the discovery rule or rules regarding fraud and deceit.
Seek Legal Guidance in the State Where the Medical Malpractice Occurred
It is important to enlist the guidance of an attorney in the state where the negligence occurred due to the overlap of state and federal law. For claims occurring in New Mexico, Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.