Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice at a Federally Funded Health Care Clinic in Michigan?

Federally Funded Health Care Clinic are a great asset to United States citizens, but just like any other health care provider, they can make major, life-altering mistakes. Any medical malpractice attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can identify preventable medical mistakes, but you need an attorney experienced with federal funding and appropriate tort laws to maximize your chance of winning a case against federally funded clinic.

If you’ve had a misdiagnosis, surgical error, or other medical accident at a clinic run by the federal government, you may be able to sue for damages under federal law instead of Michigan law. While you cannot sue federal government employees, you can still receive significant compensation to cover past and future medical costs. Some clinics that receive various amounts of federal funding, like family planning clinics, are still technically private employers and must be sued under a different set of laws.

The Process

Federal agencies and their offices are covered by a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). If a federal employee fails to carry out their legal duty in providing services to the public, the federal government can often be sued for damages. Like with other cases, there are limits and restrictions on exactly what the government can be held accountable for, but medical errors are generally included.
The first step in potentially filing a federal lawsuit is to file a claim with the appropriate government agency. Filling out and submitting Form 95 is the first step in what can be a length process. You must file a claim within two years of the malpractice incident, so it’s important to act on this as soon as possible.
Some claims are resolved administratively, but if more than six months have passed since you have filed a claim, you may be eligible to file suit. A medical malpractice attorney at our law firm can help assess your case, help fill out Form 95, and walk you through the administrative claim process.

Federally Funded Health Care Clinic

Identifying Federally Funded Clinics

There are around 200 federally funded Health Care Clinics in Michigan, and many of them don’t have any indication of that in the clinic name! Your medical malpractice lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. may need to do some research to confirm that your clinic and your specific case are eligible under the FTCA. Otherwise, you may need to file your case under Michigan laws, which don’t typically result in as much compensation.
Some clinics are funded mostly by the state or through private money, and many medical malpractice cases at these clinics would be subject to usual Michigan laws. Sometimes there may even be staff who are contractors, and while many federal contractors are covered by FTCA, not all are. Indian Health Services and Veterans’ Affairs facilities, though, are federally funded entities that are subject to FTCA.

Next Steps

If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, an experienced medical attorney at our law firm can walk you through the next steps. To pursue a case, though, you’ll need adequate documentation. While you may not need to have copies of relevant medical documents immediately available, you will want photos of the injuries, records of any other medical care sought, and other evidence to help your case.
If your injuries are internal or not well-documented, don’t give up. We can connect you with an expert medical professional who can assess your condition. Since your condition could worsen throughout a lengthy lawsuit, you may need to see the medical professional again.
The lawsuit process can be long and daunting, but don’t give up – you have a good chance of winning compensation if you have an experienced attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates on your side. Though the federal claims process is tricky, it’s generally more favorable to plaintiffs than Michigan law. Contact us for a no obligation case evaluation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers’ compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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