Home Page Hot Legal Issues Veteran Medical Malpractice
Veteran Medical Malpractice
En Español [MALA PRAXIS MÃ©DICA A VETERANOS]
The Federal Tort Claims Act allows a civilian to claim compensation from the US government when damage is caused by the negligence of an employee or agency (such as VA hospital malpractice) of the US government, including the Veterans Administration (VA). VA medical malpractice law falls within negligence law, which is applicable to all lawsuits by attorneys against medical professionals, from VA hospitals to doctors and dentists to podiatrists and chiropractors.
Veterans Medical Malpractice
Increasingly, more medical negligence claims have been directed toward VA medical malpractice claims. According to the VA, the "environment of care" needed to be improved at 17 out of 23 medical facilities it inspected from 9/2004 to 10/2005.
VA Medical Malpractice History
A "Primetime Thursday" investigation by Diane Sawyer uncovered disturbing information by hidden cameras about the quality of care and questionable management practices at some VA hospitals, including misdiagnosis. One patient, Terry Soles, who served in the Navy during the war in Vietnam, went to a V.A. hospital for two years complaining of intense abdominal pain and diarrhea. His wife finally took him to a private doctor, who diagnosed cancer: Soles died three days later.
A former VA out-patient clinic psychiatrist was convicted of nine misdemeanor counts of assaulting three patients under his care. He was later convicted of "improper sexual relationship with patient."
The News Hour with Jim Lehrer reported on what the VA is doing to improve patient safety. It revealed many lapses in patient safety over the last decade, including lack of hand washing, wrong site surgery, and that the VA performs surgery on the wrong veteran about once a month. And VA infections frequently occur.
Two years after a report regarding incompetent VA staff, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the VA was still doing a poor job of checking health care providers' backgrounds. (At least 63 cases of malpractice have been found between 1997 and 2002 that resulted because of the failure of a supervisor to oversee residents. These cases included misdiagnosis, surgical and medication errors, and inadequate care.)
The brachytherapy program at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia was shut down, after it was learned that many veterans had received incorrect radiation doses over a six-year period.
VA centers in three cities were accused of reusing colonoscopy and endoscopy equipment without properly sanitizing the equipment. At least 50 veterans tested positive for blood borne pathogens.
The VA sent letters to about 600 veterans with potential neurological diagnoses, but who do not have ALS—Lou Gehrig's disease—telling them they were diagnosed with this debilitating and deadly disease.
In November 2008, the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia sent a letter to more than 1,200 patients who were treated for ear, nose and throat, warning them they may have been exposed to infections.
Following a December 2008 investigation at the VA clinic in Murfreesboro, TN, officials discovered that clinic workers were not properly maintaining the medical equipment used to conduct colonoscopies. More than 6,000 patients were notified and offered free testing.
In March 2009 VA officials announced that veterans in South Florida may have been exposed to Hepatitis and HIV after being examined with contaminated medical equipment.
According to reports, more than 3,200 veterans who received colonoscopies at the Miami VA medical clinic between May 2004 and March 12, 2009 are at risk of exposure to both Hepatitis and HIV.
If you or a loved was diagnosed with Hepatitis, HIV or another infection after being treated at a VA medical clinic, you should seek help from a veterans lawyer—you are likely eligible for compensation including medical expenses, lost wages, long-term treatments (if necessary) and emotional pain and suffering.
Filing a veterans' medical malpractice claim under the FTCA is complicated and typically requires help from VA medical malpractice lawyers who understand the requirements for filing medical negligence lawsuits. For instance, before you sue, an administrative claim has to be made against the VA for the full amount of damages you have suffered, and that is difficult and risky to determine. Once you have filed your administrative claim, you won't be able to ask for more damages—ever again--unless you have evidence that proves additional damages are warranted and you didn't have knowledge of them prior to filing your claim.
Filing a Veteran Medical Negligence Lawsuit
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help determine how much in damages you are entitled to receive and will make sure you don't "short change" yourself.
After your administrative claim is filed with the FTCA, the VA is entitled to six months for investigation and review of your claim. The VA can then do the following:
In 2008, two veterans' advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs alleging that its failure to process disability claims in a timely manner has resulted in economic and other problems for hundreds of thousands of military personnel.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, you may be entitled to certain programs and benefits.
If you have a VA Medical Malpractice claim, it is important that you work with a lawyer who is experienced and specializes in VA Medical Malpractice. Some veterans have their malpractice cases dismissed because their attorney wasn't experienced with VA issues and procedural requirements for bringing a claim under the FTCA. If your lawyer told you that your VA medical malpractice claim was valid, you may have a legal malpractice claim against your lawyer.
VA Legal Malpractice
A number of VA hospitals have in place an "apology law": administrators and health officials admit their mistakes immediately and negotiate with the victims for extremely low settlements. Although a small settlement can help short-term, lawsuit settlements are typically 6 to 28 times greater than what hospitals are offering.
If you have experienced an injury or substandard care at a VA hospital or clinic, you should consult a VA medical malpractice lawyer who is experienced in VA medical malpractice claims, and receive proper compensation.
Veteran Medical Malpractice Legal HelpIf you are a veteran and have suffered injuries or negligence at a VA hospital, please click the link below to submit your complaint to a veteran malpractice lawyer for a free claim evaluation.
Last updated on Sep-3-13
MALPRACTICE LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS
“They Set Me on Fire”
Stafford, WV: American military vet Steven Anthony was already living a life compromised by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he was suffered another blow to his already fragile mind at a Veteran’s hospital in Martinsburg, Virginia. Steven became a victim of veteran medical malpractice [READ MORE]
VA Hospital Malpractice Lawsuit an Icy Proposition
Louisville, KY: An army veteran who underwent a necessary surgical procedure on his penis has launched a VA hospital malpractice lawsuit after frostbite, and then gangrene set in necessitating the removal of a five-inch section of the plaintiff's penis. Michael D. Nash of Louisville, Kentucky is seeking $10 million in compensation [READ MORE]
Another Iraq Veteran with Traumatic Brain Injury
MORE MALPRACTICE LEGAL NEWS
IN YOUR OWN WORDS
READ MORE [ Malpractice Settlements and Legal News ]