In 2012, the federal government paid out $91.7 million to resolve medical malpractice claims against it. The payouts were made to veterans who received inadequate treatment at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals.
The cases involved missed diagnoses, delays in treatment and even procedures performed on the wrong body parts. As Bloomberg reports, these millions in payments reflect the highest sum paid out for VA malpractice cases in at least 12 years.
At Joye Law Firm, we believe that veterans deserve better. Those who served their country deserve quality medical care, and VA hospitals need to provide that. When they don’t, patients and family members of those harmed by the substandard medical care may be entitled to compensation.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation and answers to questions such as:
- What types of injuries are caused by medical malpractice at VA hospitals?
- What should I do if I was the victim of malpractice at a VA facility?
- How can a lawyer help me with a malpractice claim involving the VA?
Types of Injuries Caused by VA Malpractice
A recent CNN investigation of the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia revealed that as many as 52 out of 280 cases of gastrointestinal cancer were “associated with a delay in diagnoses and treatment.” Evidence from the investigation indicated that it is likely that more than 20 patients died of cancer because they had to wait too long to be diagnosed at this facility.
Cancer deaths have also been linked to delayed diagnoses at many other VA hospitals throughout the country, including Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.
Delayed diagnoses of cancer as well as delays in diagnosing other conditions are just two of the major problems that have been reported. Other complaints include:
- Dangerous bacteria in one VA hospital’s water system leading to disease outbreaks.
- Failure to warn patients of exposure to potentially deadly bacteria in a VA hospital.
- Performing procedures on the wrong patients or the wrong body parts, such as amputating the wrong leg.
- Overdose deaths due to medication errors.
- Poor sterilization procedures, resulting in patients being exposed to diseases including HIV.
These and other injuries that result from substandard care may result in the VA being required to compensate the injured patient or the surviving family members.
Help for Victims of Medical Malpractice at VA Hospitals
If you suspect you were the victim of medical malpractice in the VA system, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At Joye Law Firm, we can review your case information for free to determine if you may have a viable claim. An attorney can help you obtain copies of your medical records from the facility where treatment was provided (copies of the records are free) and can assist you in finding an expert to review the records and determine if the VA did something wrong.
If it is believed the VA was negligent or the provided care was substandard, claims may be made against the federal government under the rules of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA is a law that provides certain exceptions to sovereign immunity rules, which limit when the government can be sued.
There are many procedural requirements that must be followed, including strict time limits, when a claim is made under the FTCA. A lawyer can help with this process.
Settling a claim without getting legal help could result in less compensation than you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for all costs and losses associated with the injury or death, including lost companionship damages or compensation for pain and suffering.
At Joye Law Firm, we represent your interests, and we put our experience to work to help ensure that you receive the fair monetary damages you are entitled to.
Let us help you. Joye Law Firm has been fighting for injured people in South Carolina since 1968. Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out this online contact form for a free evaluation and consultation about your case.