VA health care has more than 1,200 care locations around the U.S. that serve 9 million veterans each year, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. While this service has given access to affordable treatment to countless veterans, there have been cases of medical malpractice that have left some patients with long-term or fatal injuries. Take for example, Brian Tally, a Marine Corps veteran that had to live with a misdiagnosed infection that was devouring his spine for over four months, according to an ABC7 News article. The diagnosis he had gotten initially from a VA nurse was that he had a sprain in his lower back. You can get compensation if you are a victim of medical malpractice like this, so it’s a good idea to be aware of the risks.
Understanding medical malpractice
More than 250,000 deaths are caused by medical errors in the United States, according to a CNN article. Medical malpractice is not just about misdiagnosis, but also surgical mistakes, delay in diagnosis, wrong medical prescriptions, and unnecessary procedures. Generally, when a doctor or healthcare professional causes an injury to a patient because of a negligent act or omission, it becomes medical malpractice.
Liability in a medical malpractice case
The term ‘medical malpractice’ is used because a doctor or VA health professional owes a duty of care to you as a patient. So when they breach that duty of care, and that breach directly causes you or your family member to get injured, then you can sue the individual or party for compensation. In other words, that individual or party is liable or responsible for your injury. However, the injury resulting from that breach must be significant, and there must be damages for you to sue. You should get the help of a medical malpractice attorney if you want to sue doctors, VA nurses, or VA professionals that have caused your injuries because such cases can get complicated easily.
The legal process involved
Your attorney will inform you about the statute of limitations and the options available for you in your unique personal injury case. Your lawyer will work with medical experts to review your medical documents so that they can write a detailed report about the medical malpractice. Remember that you will have to prove in court that the negligent party’s action is what caused your injury, because the defense side could argue that you caused your own injury.
You need to keep all the medical documents that you get every time you visit your doctor or VA health professional. These include prescriptions, receipts and diagnosis information. These documents will form a crucial part of your case if you end up suing a health professional for malpractice, so it’s vital to keep a record of everything.