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Berta

Update to FTCA info here

Question

FTCA recently was discussed briefly in the Claims Research forum.Vet reps and VSOs do not handle FTCA cases.

If the FTCA regards a possible wrongful death of a veteran, a strong independent medical opinion will be needed.

Not required, but needed because the VA will fight the  case aggressively.

Anyone who obtains a strong IMO of wrongful death due to VA malpractice, by a doctor who had done a full review of all of the deceased veteran's VA care (and any private records) and who is able to give a strong medical rationale of the negligence/malpractice and how it caused or significantly contributed to the veteran's death will have no problem seeking a malpractice lawyer. The IMO doctor will need the Death Certificate and copies of the autopsy if one was done.

The SF95, the initial documented to be filed in FTCA claims, must be filed in the state where the malpractice occurred.

There is a two year statute of limits on the filing.That info and how the SF 95 should be prepared is available here in the FTCA /1151 forums under a search.

Also there are state caps on settlements under FTCA which a lawyer would be aware of and also

the survivor's legal status after the veteran's death is very important s to how a settlement and DIC offset is negotiated.

By legal status I mean, was an Estate formally opened? Or did the veteran die intestate and have Letters of Administration been acquired by the surviving spouse?

Certainly a spouse could win a FTCA case without a lawyer and even without a formal  IMO. I do not advise trying to do that however, because there are many nuances to FTCA issues that could easily be overlooked and the claim could be denied.Besides who wants to do the medical leg work themselves...it is very very difficult.

And I only know of one single case like that, no IMO , no lawyer  and it was my own FTCA case. We do have the right to do it ourselves.

I was fully up to state laws on FTCA and very capable of dealing directly with the lawyers at OGC in DC. That however can be intimidating for some claimants.

I liked it because I was well prepared. The OGC lawyers know VA case law better than the ROs do.And unlike some R0s, they can read.

 

 

 

 

An lawyer at General Counsel told me the main reason why many SF95s are rejected...the totals for the damage areas are not properly added up.

I would think that could be corrected by the claimant as soon as they know the OGC rejected the claim,,,,but still there is always a Statute of Limits looming over the claimant...one more reason best to have a lawyer to handle any FTCA issues.....and even prepare the SF 95 themselves.

 

 

 

 

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