Many veterans deserve quality medical care after serving our country and suffering injuries during military service. Among the 3.8 million veterans since September 2001, 1.5 million have service-related disabilities.
Hospitals run by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) must provide adequate healthcare services to veterans. In these facilities, veterans may sustain severe injuries and wrongful death due to substandard treatment and medical errors.
If you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice at a VA medical facility, the VA medical malpractice attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help you. Our attorneys have the legal experience and resources to help you file a claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
What Kind of Care Should VA Hospitals Provide to Veterans?
The Department of Veteran Affairs oversees VA medical facilities to offer comprehensive healthcare to veterans. These medical centers offer various medical services, ranging from mental health counseling to specialized surgical procedures.
Your VA benefits cover these illnesses when you go into a VA hospital:
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Airborne hazards and burn pit exposures.
- Toxic fragments embedded in the body.
- Heat injuries such as heat exhaustion and stroke.
When is a Veteran Eligible for Care in VA Hospitals?
Basic eligibility for healthcare from a VA medical center requires a previous military service history and an honorable discharge. The VA assigns applicants for VA health care to one of eight priority groups to ensure those needing immediate care receive medical treatment as soon as possible.
According to the VA, veterans with service-connected disabilities have the highest priority. Veterans with higher incomes and no service-related disabilities are taken care of last. An experienced attorney can explain these eligibility requirements to help resolve any further questions you might have if you need care immediately.
What Are the Types of VA Medical Negligence?
Our attorneys have experience in handling medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals fail to follow a standard of medical care leading to a patient’s injury. These types of cases may include:
- Inadequate medical treatment due to diagnostic errors.
- Surgical errors such as anesthesia mistakes and insufficient monitoring.
- Chronic disease mismanagement.
- Drug and medication errors. For instance, heparin medication prevents blood clotting during surgeries and blood transfusions. Patients who receive too much heparin could experience serious complications such as internal bleeding.
Experienced Veteran Affairs attorneys like those working at Nessler can assist you in navigating the complex rules and regulations associated with federal and local statutes related to veterans.
How Does the Federal Tort Claims Act Affect Medical Malpractice Cases?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) lets people file lawsuits against the U.S. government for their federal employees’ negligent actions. FTCA requires you to prove the following elements to submit a claim against the employee:
- A federal government employee injured you
- The employee acted within their duties
- Their actions were negligent
- The negligent action caused your injuries
You must also offer documentation showing that your claim meets all the FTCA’s requirements. The FTCA requires you to give notice and a description of your claim to a federal agency, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, before you file a lawsuit.
Can I File a Claim with the Department of Veterans Under Section 1151?
If you sustained further injury and disability during treatment at a VA hospital, you might file a claim under U.S. Code Section 1151. The injury must have occurred during a medical examination or surgery for you to file a Section 1151 claim. It can also result from one of these causes:
- Medical or surgical negligence on the part of the Department
- A reasonably unforeseen event
- The disability or injury occurred during rehabilitation or a compensated work therapy program.
How Can I Benefit from an FTCA Settlement and Section 1151?
A veteran can receive compensation from the FTCA and Section 1151. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs has to hold off on making disability payments until it has offset all settlement payments from an FTCA settlement. You can speak with your lawyer to decide how to file your claim under the FTCA and Section 1151.
What Is the VA Medical Malpractice Claim Process?
The statute of limitations on filing a VA medical malpractice claim is two years from the date of the malpractice. You can have an experienced VA medical malpractice lawyer help you in filing your notice against the VA:
Complete and Submit Standard Form 95
The Standard Form 95 Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death lets you fill out the details of your claim. It also allows you to detail your injury and the total amount of compensation. You must also provide evidence to justify the requested amount in addition to your request:
- Doctor’s report of the severity of your injury and medical treatments
- Medical bills with itemized charges
- Burial expenses if you’re filing for a wrongful death
File a Lawsuit in Court
When you file your claim against the VA, they will open an investigation into your claim. They have six months to respond to your claim with a settlement offer or a denial.
Following the mailing of your VA denial letter, you have six months to file a lawsuit against the VA. Failing to file your lawsuit may bar you from seeking compensation in federal court.
Start Your VA Medical Malpractice Claim with Nessler & Associates
The law firm of Nessler & Associates can help you navigate the legal process of your VA hospital medical malpractice claim. We can ensure the timely filing of your claim so you can explore your legal options and seek fair compensation against the VA.
Call our offices today at 800-727-8010 and find out your next steps to pursuing justice.