Understanding How Illinois Law Applies in FTCA Malpractice Suits
Medical malpractice can happen to a patient at any stage – during diagnosis, treatment, procedures and surgery, recovery, or even at a simple office visit. It can also occur while being a patient at any medical facility, including a government-run health system such as a Veterans Affairs hospital. But medical malpractice claims against the U.S. Government (and its agents) is complex and involves The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). FTCA is a federal statute that provides a broad waiver of sovereign immunity, effectively allowing people the opportunity to pursue a personal injury (or tort) claim, and for plaintiffs to sue the United States for things such as negligence committed by individuals employed by the government.
To file a federal tort claim and seek compensation in Illinois, you must demonstrate these three things:
- A federal government employee injured you,
- The federal government employee was not acting within the scope of his official duties, or
- The federal government employee was acting negligently or wrongfully
It can be confusing for some to understand what medical professionals are covered by the FTCA. The terms of the FTCA defines an “employee of the government” as:
- officers or employees of any federal agency
- members of the military or naval forces of the U.S.
- members of the National Guard (who are in training and/or on duty)
- persons acting on behalf of a federal agency (regardless of whether these people are compensated for their actions)
- any officer or employee of a Federal public defender organization.
Medical professionals are commonly considered to be federal employees if they work for facilities that have received a government status provided by the Department of Health & Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC).
How FTCA Challenges Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Illinois
When medical malpractice lawsuits are filed in state courts against government professionals (and/or entities) covered by the FTCA, these cases will be transferred to the federal court system.
- Quick dismissals may follow, or the statute of limitations may be running out, but a lawyer can help prevent that and provide options to help keep the case open.
- To prove malpractice, you will need a detailed medical report from a consulting physician and witness statements.
Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney experienced in FTCA can help provide a clear calculation related to the severity of your injury and the value of pursuing a case further.
Request Legal Help If You Were Injured by a Government Employee
The attorneys of Levin & Perconti have secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year. We are experienced in FTCA cases and responsible for a $3.5 million settlement for a veteran who was paralyzed as a result of Veterans Administration physicians’ failure to recognize and treat a spinal epidural abscess.
Contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417 or complete our online case evaluation form for a free consultation.