Medical malpractice is, sadly, a fact. Most physicians do not purposefully harm their patients, but there are times accidents happen. VA malpractice happens, and unlike standard malpractice claims, filing is a complicated and tedious process. It is wise, often necessary, to hire a medical malpractice attorney with experience in VA malpractice.
Filing against the VA for malpractice starts with an administrative claim for the amount of damage you have suffered. This can be difficult to determine, and often a risk is involved. An administrative claim also means you will never be able to file again, so be sure to ask for the absolute maximum before filing. There are exceptions: evidence of additional damages or a lack of prior knowledge, but both of these are extremely difficult to prove, even with an attorney.
After the claim, the VA has six months to review your claim. They will have three options: pay the claim in full; settle the claim for less money; reject the claim and pay nothing.
Should your claim be rejected, a lawsuit in federal court is necessary. During the six month period, you are well-advised to write down everything you can about your claim, including people you speak to, if you are visited by the VA, any required appointments and the like. Get copies of everything, and make copies yourself.
You have two years to file a claim, including the six months processing time. Failure to file a lawsuit in this time means your claim can be lost forever. Immediately contact a veterans benefits attorney with experience in medical malpractice upon learning your claim is denied or you are offered less than you feel is fair.