Affirmative claims include medical care recovery and property damage claims filed by the government against a third-party for the recovery of government expenses. For example, if a service member or family member was injured in a motor vehicle accident and the government provided medical care, or TRICARE paid for medical care, the claims office will seek to recover the cost of the medical care (and lost wages of the service member) from the person/agency responsible for the accident.
Medical Affirmative Claims
The Federal Medical Care Recovery Act (FMCRA), 42 USC §2651-53, authorizes recovery from a third person of the expenses for medical care the government furnishes to a person who is injured due to that third person’s acts. The United States has an independent cause of action against the third party. Also, under the TRICARE law (10 USC §1095), the United States is deemed a third-party beneficiary or subrogee under the contract rights in insurance policies, including medical care coverage, and uninsured, underinsured and no-fault coverage.
Section 2651(a) of the FMCRA creates a “right” in the United States to recover from a tortfeasor the value of medical care it has furnished an injured person and provides that the government shall be subrogated to any claim of the injured person against the tortfeasor to the extent of the value of the care and treatment it has already provided and will provide in the future.
Personal injury attorneys who represent injured members routinely settle personal injury claims against at-fault parties or their insurance with the understanding the settlement is to include all other liens and claims. Attorneys should obtain TRICARE or military treatment facility repayment information and amounts prior to settlement.
This office may contact the injured member seeking information on the incident via a Statement of Personal Injury – Possible Third Party Liability form or a Statement of Incident form. We also require a HIPAA medical release in order to obtain medical records.
Property Damage Affirmative Claims
Liability for the loss of or damage to United States government property is set forth in the provisions of the Federal Claims Collection Act, 31 USC §3711. A claim may be made against the person who damaged government property or his or her insurance.