Many veterans and their families have grown concerned about the level of care that military members are receiving from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many types of veterans claims have been lodged against the VA, recently involving allegations of delayed treatment, missed diagnoses and even procedures being performed on the wrong body part. These medical malpractice complaints have caused concern among members of the government and veterans’ advocates who believe that these issues will only get worse as the number of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars increases.
It is expected that around 1.2 million soldiers will become veterans in the next four years, and many of them will seek medical care from VA hospitals. Care required by these soldiers can be complex, and many are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. In spite of the growing numbers of veterans returning from war, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the issues with the VA stem from a lack of accountability rather than insufficient manpower or funding.
Unfortunately, the issue does not seem to be getting better. Just recently, a veteran was awarded $17.5 million in a malpractice judgment against the VA after an appointment to have eight teeth extracted turned into a post-procedure catastrophic stroke that left him incapacitated; the judgment was one of the largest payouts from the VA in more than a decade. It was also only one of approximately 400 payments made last year as a result of malpractice suits.
Veterans have earned the right to medical care and disability compensation. A lawyer could help someone at odds with the VA understand what their rights and options are and may help the individual take legal action through a well-prepared claim against the VA if necessary.
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