Veterans Affairs Medical Malpractice
Many people rely on medical care provided by Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) facilities. The men and women of our country who served in the military deserve skilled medical care, and they should never have to worry about being harmed due to the careless or negligent actions of a VA healthcare provider. Unfortunately, there are times when preventable medical errors occur to those under VA care, and cause lasting harm. At Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., our Florida Veterans Affairs medical malpractice attorneys are ready to help you and your family recover compensation for your injuries today. We represent clients in personal injury cases throughout Florida, including areas with large veteran populations such as Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. We offer free consultations. Also, we can communicate with you remotely via phone or the internet, and handle the sign-up and case evaluation remotely so you don’t have to even leave your home.Understanding medical mistakes
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, preventable medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in our country. Researchers estimate that as many as 250,000 people are killed by preventable medical errors each year in the United States. Many more are harmed by these mistakes and are left suffering from the consequences.
Some of the medical mistakes that regrettably could occur at VA facilities include the following:
- Misdiagnosis of a disease or illness
- Failure to diagnose a disease or illness
- Unnecessary tests, treatment, or procedures
- Errors with prescribing or administering medication
- Delayed treatment or denied care
- Inadequate follow up after treatments
- Surgical and anesthesia mistakes
- Healthcare-acquired infections
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows you to file a lawsuit against the federal government for certain acts of medical negligence that occurred at a VA facility. Due to the provisions of the FTCA:
- The federal government can only face medical malpractice lawsuits for damages resulting from the negligence of agovernment employee if that person was “acting within the scope of their employment.” The phrase “government employee” includes persons employed by a federal agency or working on behalf of the agency in an official capacity, but it does not typically include independent contractors who are merely working at the VA facility. (Though it should be noted that if, for example, a physician who is an independent contractor commits medical malpractice against a patient at a VA facility, that physician may still be personally liable for medical malpractice even though the U.S. government is not liable).
- A lawsuit against the federal government for negligence at a VA facility will only allow for the recovery of damages that the plaintiff (the injured victim) would be entitled to recover if they were filing a lawsuit against a private person or entity.
- The federal government cannot be sued for intentional torts (like assault or battery) committed by government employees at a VA facility (though the person who committed the tort may, in some cases, be personally liable).
- A person cannot recover punitive damages in a lawsuit against the federal government for medical negligence at the VA.
For more information on these matters, contact our Florida Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.What is the medical malpractice claims process under the FTCA?
Lawsuits against the federal government for medical negligence at a VA facility proceed along a different course than do typical medical malpractice lawsuits.Filing
VA claims must first be made against the VA before any lawsuit is filed in court. After filing the claim with the VA, a claimant must wait six months for a response from the VA regarding the claim.Strict Timelines
Claims against the VA require that you complete various actions within a certain timeframe. You must notify the VA within two years of when the claim accrues. For purposes of medical negligence, the claim generally accrues when the injury occurred (or under limited circumstances when it was discovered or should have been discovered by reasonable diligence). When the agency is notified, they then have six months to respond. If your claim is denied by the agency, or if the six months lapse without a satisfactory resolution, then you have six months from that date to file the medical malpractice lawsuit.Are these cases heard by a jury?
This is another area where these cases differ from a typical medical malpractice situation. VA medical malpractice cases are brought in federal court and heard by a judge. These cases will not be decided by a jury.What kind of compensation can you receive for these cases?
Victims harmed by the negligent actions of a Veterans Affairs medical professional may be entitled to various types of economic and non-economic compensation. While the total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary depending on the facts of each particular situation,you could be entitled to recover for:
- Cost of medical bills
- Cost of medical care
- Lost wages
- Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress
- Compensation for pain and suffering
When you have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a medical provider, you need a personal injury attorney with extensive experience by your side. The attorneys at Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases in Florida and are ready to help you with your case. Some of the many reasons you should consider our firm:
- We pride ourselves in providing superior service to our clients. We make sure that every client receives personalized attention for their claim.
- We have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your claim. We can work with medical experts to investigate liability in your case.
- We handle every aspect of your case, insulating you from insurance carriers and handling all negotiations.
- We take Veterans Affairs medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay us any up-front costs for your case. We do not get paid unless we recover compensation for you.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by negligent actions at a VA facility anywhere in Florida,, call our office today. At Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., if we take your case, our compassionate and experienced team will conduct a complete investigation in order to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. When you need a Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawyer in Florida, contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 877-853-7466.