A VA Hospital medical malpractice lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was the victim of professional negligence. Millions of armed forces veterans and active duty military receive treatment at these government run hospitals. A medical mistake can result in serious harm and even death.
Veteran Administration Hospitals in the United States are subject to medical malpractice lawsuits for negligent medical care at those facilities. The largest medical system in the nation, the Veteran Administration Hospital System helps veterans seek medical care at these facilities in order to receive the best care they can. When this quality of care is not provided and a veteran suffers injury due to medical mistakes at a VA Hospital, the patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the United States of America.
The lawsuits are for all types of medical mistakes that occur at Veterans Administration Hospitals or by physicians and nurses at those VA hospitals, including surgery errors, medication mistakes, the failure to diagnose a medical condition, and other types of medical malpractice. In cases involving a death of a Veterans Hospital patient, the veteran’s surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Best Lawyers for VA Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
It is essential to have a lawyer that specializes in VA malpractice cases on your side.
The Buckfire Law Firm malpractice lawyers have earned the highest ratings and awards in the legal profession, including:
- U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm
- Super Lawyers
- The Best Lawyers in America
- The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
These cases present complex medical and legal issues and must be handled by a medical malpractice attorney with the knowledge and skill to win your case. Contact us now to discuss your case so we can explain the process to you and get started on your case immediately.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
There are some common types of medical malpractice that occur in Veterans Administration Hospitals, which include:
- Misdiagnosed cancer (lung cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer)
- Failure to diagnose conditions, like heart attacks or strokes
- Misread x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, and pap smears
- Emergency room error and emergency department mistakes
- Medication errors and medicine overdoses
- Surgical errors by different types of surgeons
- Anesthesia errors resulting in brain damage or death
Veterans Hospital Medical Malpractice Settlement Example
A 33-year-old former U.S. Marine and Iraq War Veteran received his medical care from a Veterans Administration Hospital in Michigan. During his visits, he complained of pain and problems in his neck.
He suffered trauma to his cervical area while in the service and it was treated in the past. During a visit, he described more serious symptoms to his VA hospital doctor. She advised him to see a neurosurgeon in the future, but failed to recognize the urgency of his medical situation.
The neurosurgeon appointment was scheduled for a date far off in the future, instead of being addressed in an urgent manner. During that waiting period, his symptoms worsened and he began to lose feelings in his arms and legs. He finally went to a major hospital emergency room and an MRI found an impingement on his spinal cord. He was taken for emergency surgery, but the delay in treatment caused permanent spinal cord damage. As a result, the veteran has limited use of his arms and legs and is permanently disabled.
We filed a Form 95 claim on his behalf and hired a well-respected neurosurgeon to prove medical negligence. We also hired a vocational rehabilitation expert and economist to prove his financial losses. Prior to filing a lawsuit, we negotiated a $2 million settlement for our client.
How do I sue a VA Hospital for Medical Malpractice?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows servicemen, military dependents, and other non-active duty victims of negligence to sue government agencies in federal court for injury committed by military doctors and other health care providers acting on behalf of the United States.
There are strict procedural requirements for filing a military medical malpractice case under the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA). These include submitting necessary forms and filing claims even before a lawsuit can be filed.
The first requirement to file a Veterans Hospital claim is to submit a Form 95. The form should be accurately completed so it is smart to get the assistance of an experienced Federal Tort Claim Act attorney. A veteran who fails to file a claim under the specified requirement can have a valid lawsuit barred from being pursued.
Once submitted, the General Counsel has a period of six months to respond to your claim. Most often the government lawyer will perform an investigation of your claim to determine if it is meritorious. This evaluation includes a thorough review of your medical records and a legal analysis of your claim for medical malpractice.
What Do I Need to Prove for Claim?
A VA medical malpractice lawsuit requires the same legal proofs as claims filed against non-government hospitals and doctors. The patient must prove more than simply a bad result or outcome from the hospitalization or medical treatment. You must prove both professional negligence and that you suffered harm from those errors.
The legal elements to prove your case are:
- One more medical providers were negligent in your care, meaning they failed to act as a reasonable prudent doctor or nurse would do in the same or similar circumstances.
- You were injured or harmed by the negligence. This includes both physical and psychological injuries;
- The negligent treatment was a proximate cause of your injury;
- You suffered damages as a result of the negligence.
Each of the above elements must be proven to be successful in your case. If a doctor was negligent but there was no injury, then you cannot pursue a case. And, if you had a bad result but it was not caused by a medical mistake then you cannot file a case. Our award-winning medical malpractice lawyers will evaluate each element of the case for you.
What are the Steps after a Form 95 is Filed?
After you file the Form 95, there is the required six month waiting period before you can file your lawsuit. During that time, the General Counsel can offer to settle your case or can deny your claim. If your claim is denied, you can then file your Federal Tort Claim lawsuit against the Veterans Hospital and the physicians who committed medical malpractice.
Because the lawsuit is against a federal agency, it must be filed in a United States District Court in the region where the malpractice occurred. Once filed, it is served on the government and a lawyer is assigned to defend the case. The process is then similar to all other civil lawsuits alleging medical negligence.
The major steps include the discovery phase. Discovery is the period in the lawsuit where attorneys take statements under oath from the parties and witnesses. These are called depositions and they are transcribed by a court reporter. The typed transcript is used later in the proceedings.
Also during this phase, the lawyers will take the depositions of the medical experts hired by each side to support their positions in the cases. The testimony of these medical experts is essential to proving the elements of the case. Our law firm hires nationally renowned physicians to support that you were harmed by a medical mistake.
Once this phase is completed, the court will often have the parties attend a mediation to see if the matter can be settled. If they cannot agree on a settlement amount, the judge will set the matter for a trial. At trial, each side presents witnesses, records, and evidence in support of their case. A verdict is then rendered for the winning side.
How Much are VA Hospital Settlements?
There is no set amount or even a guideline for determining a settlement amount. Every case is unique and is evaluated differently.
The settlement amount considers the strength of the liability that can be proven against the medical provider. If the medical negligence is clear, the next step is to evaluate the injuries caused by the errors. Patients with the most serious injuries receive the highest settlement awards.
Settlements include compensation for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. Other compensable damages include payment for lost wages, loss of future earnings, out of pocket medical bills, and future medical needs not covered by the VA System.
If a patient dies due to a medical mistake, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases demand compensation for the loss of companionship of the loved one, the suffering of the decedent before death, and all economic losses suffered by the spouse and children.
Our attorneys will fully evaluate your case and discuss with you the targeted settlement amount for your case. We value your input in this process and we work together to achieve the highest possible settlement amount for you.
Michigan Veterans Administration Hospitals
There are several Veterans Administration Hospitals (VA Hospitals) in Michigan. These include:
- John Dingell Veterans Administration Hospital, Detroit, MI
- VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS)
- Battle Creek VA Medical Center
- VA Hospital, Allen Park, Michigan
- Albert E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, Michigan
- Iron Mountain VA Medical Center, Iron Mountain, Michigan
- VA Great Lakes Health Care System
Veteran’s clinics can also be sued for negligent medical care and there are a number of those clinics throughout the State of Michigan as well.
How much do Lawyers Charge for VA Malpractice Cases?
Most attorneys will represent you under a contingent fee agreement. This means there are no legal fees unless you win a settlement.
For VA malpractice cases, the federal statute limits the attorney fee to 20% if the case is settled before a lawsuit is filed with the court. After a suit is filed, the maximum legal fee is 25% of the recovered amount. This is substantially less than the standard 33.33% charged by most medical malpractice lawyers.
Our law firm will pay all of the case costs and expenses to pursue your case. We only receive those back when your settlement check arrives. It costs you nothing to start your case and if it is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing. We put that in writing for you.
Contact Our Lawyers Who Sue VA Hospitals
If you or someone you care about is the victim of medical malpractice at a Veterans Administration Hospital or VA clinic, call our law office immediately. Our medical malpractice lawyers will start working on your case immediately to make sure the required procedures are followed to bring your case.
There is no fee to get started and we only earn a fee if you received a settlement.
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