One area of medical malpractice that many overlook involves healthcare providers at the Veterans Administration (VA). But with more and more vets seeking care, the potential for medical negligence in these facilities is greater.
In fact, records indicate that the government paid out on more than 400 medical malpractice payments in 2012, totaling a record high of $91,700,000, according to business and financial website Bloomberg. This site obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act request.
One of the largest payouts was awarded to a veteran left permanently incapacitated after undergoing routine care at a dentist office. He received $17,500,000.
The age of recent veterans may explain some of the rising malpractice costs, as noted by the Bloomberg report. Compared to vets of previous wars – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam – where the average age group is 65 years and up, those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan range between 25 and 34 years old.
The potential consequences of medical negligence can be much more significant for someone with a longer life expectancy. In many cases, such events are preventable.
As with other types of medical malpractice cases, negligence cases involving the VA include:
- operating on the wrong site;
- delayed treatments;
- failure to diagnose; and
- other forms of negligence.
Seeking Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case
One of the important factors in determining whether someone has a valid case is establishing that a duty of care was owed to the patient. A second factor is that the duty of care was breached because of negligence. This could include some of the aforementioned medical errors. If it results in someone suffering serious or fatal injuries, a healthcare provider and/or facility could be held liable.
This could lead to compensation that covers medical costs and lost wages and addresses other consequences such as permanent disability or disfigurement.
Damages may also be available for:
- pain and suffering;
- reduced quality of life; and
- mental anguish.
To learn about filing a claim, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates. We can evaluate the circumstances to determine legal options available.