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How to Help Victims of Military Medical Malpractice

Flag with stethoscope and gavel representing Military Medical Malpractice

Like all medical treatment providers, military providers make mistakes (AKA Military Medical Malpractice). Whether through lack of training, competence, or judgment, errors are made and often result in significant harm to the patient. Where their civilian counterparts can bring lawsuits for compensation to cover the costs of those mistakes or even to just hold the negligent provider accountable, military servicemembers may not. 

Due to what many consider an archaic legal ruling, known as the Feres Doctrine, active duty military members are prohibited from suing their negligent medical treatment providers, even when that provider’s negligence unmistakably resulted in extreme harm or even death. Frustrated by stories of these occasions, Congress recently passed a law permitting active duty members to file a claim for this negligence. The member doesn’t “sue” the military medical provider, they file a claim. The claim process is nonadversarial, which means there are no court hearings, no depositions, and no cross examinations. While the subject matter is much more serious, the process is akin to filing a claim for damage to your household goods.

Active duty members who feel they have been the victim of medical malpractice file a claim on SF-95 in which they provide the facts and discuss why they feel the military medical provider was negligent and what harm that negligence caused the servicemember. The DoD then sends the claim to non-DoD medical professionals who evaluate the claim and determine if the military medical practitioner was negligent. If these professionals agree that negligence caused harm, the claim is then evaluated for damages. If the claim is denied, the claimant can appeal. If it is granted, the DoD can pay a monetary claim for damages.

There are deficiencies in this process, to be sure, the biggest being that non-economic damages are capped at $600,000 and punitive damages (intended to “punish” the negligent provider or system that allowed him or her to practice negligently) are not available. Recent reports also indicate that they system is slow to decide claims, some cases lingering even after a year or more. Unfortunately, for victims of medical malpractice, time is critical.  

But it’s a start. At King Military Law, we share the frustration over limiting the rights of those who serve and join the chorus of calls that the Feres Doctrine be modified to at least exclude medical malpractice from its prohibitions.

Until that day, if you or a loved one are impacted by military medical malpractice, please reach out to an experienced military attorney to help you seek the voice—and remedy—you deserve.

King Military Law

~~Where Experience Matters Most~~


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Gabe CarothersGabe Carothers
03:05 30 Jul 22
King military law truly cares, and will be by your side every single step of the way. If you are even thinking of calling them. Do It. They are true professionals who care. Thank you king military law.
Ro JairamRo Jairam
15:29 12 Jul 22
Don is the guy you want in your corner. When you are up against the resources of the military and government in general, it can be overwhelming. The military JAGs who may eventually get to defend you do their best, but they are often overrun with cases and can only represent you after you’ve been officially been informed that you’re going to court-martial or administrative separation board.I won’t go into too many details about my specific situation, but Don’s vast experience as a prior judge and JAGC CAPT, his knowledge of the law and particular the UCMJ, and quite frankly, his connections to those in the military legal circles, may have saved my career.Do yourself a favor and call King Military Law for a free consultation. Especially if you think things are going to go sideways (like they did in my case), you should give serious consideration toward hiring an attorney.I’ll end with this since I’m being vague. My situation ended in an outcome that the JAGs were flabbergasted by. I had to make some financial sacrifices to hire this warrior but it was well worth it in the end. The resolution to my situation was fair and equitable, and that’s all I could hope for in the beginning.Thanks Don, and keep fighting the good fight.
Coleman ProffittColeman Proffitt
18:19 26 Jun 22
Don King is a man of integrity, professionalism, and work ethic. He worked tirelessly on my case and was always available for my questions. He made sure that I was well informed on the entire situation and all outcomes. I am thankful that I had Don King on my case, and I would give him the highest recommendation to anyone in need.
02:07 09 Apr 22
We only had a Brief conversation. But within those few minutes, He made me smile with relief. He gave me better advice then three lawyers a jag and legal on my ship. I got hit with article 112a, when my ship found a dab pen in my belongings. After his consultation, I feel like I can put my mine at ease. highly recommend 10 out of 10!!!!!!
Roberto AugustinRoberto Augustin
01:40 25 Feb 22
If you are facing any legal issues within your command, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Don. He is one of the best military attorneys you could ever ask for. He is sincere and extremely knowledgeable about the military law. I was in the process of getting separated for a pattern of misconduct a few months before my EOS. I felt so hopeless and scared that I would lose all my benefits. I waited at the last minute to contact Mr. Don. God knows that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He took his time to listen to my issues and told me right away that he could help me. After I provided him with all the information that was needed for my case, he and his team were able to write a very successful letter to my command admiral and allow me to get out with an honorable discharge. The only regret I have by choosing Attorney Don and his team is not contacting them much earlier than I did.Thanks again, Mr. Don. I greatly appreciate you and your team for helping me win my case.

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