As a coastal state, Georgia is home to 13 military bases crossing all branches of service. Many Georgia citizens have honorably served our country and been active community members, business owners, law enforcement officers, teachers, and unfortunately, victims. Military personnel have not only fought to protect our country, but also must fight to protect a legal right they’ve already been granted.
Historically, under federal law, service members were barred from bringing medical malpractice claims against military healthcare providers who rendered negligent medical care. In 2019, a law was passed that finally removed this barrier to justice for service members who were injured or died as a result of medical malpractice.
Billions of dollars in victim payouts are in limbo
This legislation was passed without a deadline to create a process for medical malpractice claims to be filed. While progress has been made in terms of the recognition that service members should be entitled to a legal remedy for medical negligence, the damage is still being done without accountability if payouts are not required.
As of February 2021, $2 billion in medical malpractice claims have been submitted to the Pentagon, not a dime of which has been paid. Because the compensation system has yet to be finalized, there is a backlog of 227 claims that have been outstanding for more than a year, including:
- Army – with approximately 38% of claims
- Navy and Marines – with 32% of claims
- Air Force – with 30% of claims
The delay in processing these claims has led to discussions about the need for more oversight of the process. For military personnel who are victims of medical negligence, this new law has thus far been a hollow victory, as they continue living with the injuries caused by the doctors they were given no option but to trust. Until the Department of Defense is required to complete creating the payout system, medically injured service members will have to continue waiting for the justice they deserve.
Civilians have the benefit of an established legal system and can seek the advice of a qualified attorney any time they’re ready to proceed with filing a claim. If you have been injured by a doctor, schedule your free case evaluation with one of our aggressive Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP. Make an appointment today by calling our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
Jed Manton is committed to representing individuals and business that have been harmed by the actions of others. With a solid track record, Jed has helped numerous clients who have been seriously injured or who have lost a loved one obtain justice, while holding the wrongdoer accountable.
Read more about Jed D. Manton here.