According to a Bloomberg article, the U.S. government paid more than $91.7 million to veterans in hundreds of medical malpractice claims last year – the highest sum in at least a dozen years. The claims, which included a $17.5 million settlement that was the largest for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 12 years, inclued misdiagnoses, amputation of the wrong body part and delayed treatment.
Reasons for this spike in malpractice claims include a higher number of veterans seeking treatment for more complex medical issues, as well as younger claimants: The median age range of veterans after the 9/11 terror attacks was 25 to 34 years old. That increases the amount of potential damages a claimant might be entitled to following a misdiagnosis or mistreated illness or injury.
Malpractice payments for veterans, which have totaled more than $700 million since 2001, are funded by taxpayer dollars. The VA estimates that less than 25 percent of the claims filed against it result in payment; federal restrictions on attorney fees and bureaucratic red tape make suing the federal government particularly difficult.
If you or a member of your family is a veteran with a medical malpractice claim, the attorneys at Hodes Milman Liebeck can help. Contact HMLM at (949) 640-8222 or online at hmlm.com today.