Many of our country’s veterans and their families rely on VA hospitals to care for their injuries, either from their years of service or from health problems that occurred after their years of service. Some veterans have a difficult time adjusting back to civilian life after service for myriad reasons. Some have lost their previous jobs and cannot return and many have suffered mental and physical injuries that have made coping with life more difficult.
It is troubling to hear of the accounts of issues and problems at such hospitals. Many of them are struggling to provide adequate medical care due to funding cuts. As a result, many such hospitals have been hit with medical malpractice lawsuits. The biggest concerns are the lack of staffing and delays that have compromised the health of patients. According to the Department, hundreds of deaths can be directly attributed to unnecessary delays in medical care. The response has been an increase in VA funding, although this may be a little late to stem the wave of lawsuits already starting to develop.
Lawsuits have been developing from the quality of treatment received by veterans and their families. Many would like to proceed with their claims but the Federal Tort Claims Act. Under the Act, punitive damages cannot be claimed and attorney awards are restricted, making it difficult to find an attorney willing to take on the work of fighting the federal government without being adequately compensated. Because of this, many are considering consolidating their cases into class actions and fighting for the injured veterans using more policy-based concerns of a system of inadequate care. Some veterans have been successful in obtaining malpractice judgments against certain hospitals. Attorneys will continue to use these cases as a model to obtain more judgments for veterans and their families.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.