Incompetent doctors have been a long standing problem at Veteran Administration (VA) hospitals and clinics. This past summer, investigations were filed against VA hospitals in California on several accounts of medical malpractice and negligence. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the VA healthcare system has come under scrutiny for its negligent practices. According to government databases, the VA has settled or lost more than 4,400 malpractice cases since 2003, with claims skyrocketing into the millions in 2011 alone. The VA healthcare system is guilty of many acts of medical negligence including, misdiagnoses, botched surgeries, losing patient files, delayed coverage and outright denying care to those who need it. Wait times for primary care are double the national average, with wait times to see a specialist even longer. “We are not here as part of a witch-hunt, to make VA look bad or to score political points,” says Representative Jeff Miller, chairman of the House veterans committee, “We simply want to ensure that veterans across the country are receiving the care and benefits they have earned.”
Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, a civilian can claim compensation when damages are caused due to negligence by a government agency. Since the VA is a government agency, victims of medical malpractice at VA hospitals are entitled to compensation. Additionally, VA medical malpractice is covered under negligence law, making it applicable to any lawsuit by any attorney against medical professionals.
With millions of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between the ages of 25-34 expected to start claiming VA health benefits, the levels of malpractice suits and settlement/lawsuit payouts are only going to rise, costing the US Treasury and taxpayers to lose millions of dollars, unless something is done to hold the VA accountable. “The rapid rise in malpractice judgments against VA mirrors the emerging pattern of preventable veteran deaths and other patient safety issues at VA hospitals,” says Rep. Miller, “What’s missing from the equation is not money or manpower — it’s accountability.”
If you or a loved one feel you are eligible for compensation for damages due to medical negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act or California Negligence Laws, the lawyers at Hodes Milman are here in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.