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VA medical malpractice payments create questions

The media has covered the treatment of American soldiers extensively lately. For example, a major topic of conversation has been the ability of veterans to obtain jobs after they exit the military. However, the quality of healthcare provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has become a focal point. Specifically, some people question the number of medical malpractice suits against the healthcare organization. Some would have Americans believe that veterans in North Carolina and across the country are receiving substandard medical care based on the number of claims filed and the amount of money paid to settle them.

These issues are illustrated by the case of a marine who needed to have a tooth removed. The procedure was completed even though care providers noted that his blood pressures was abnormally low. On his way home, he had a stroke, causing him to crash his car. As a result, he suffered a brain injury, and he is now paralyzed and requires constant care. The VA settled his complaint for $17.5 million.

Over the last 10 years, this man isn't the only case of claimed malpractice. Since 2003, the VA has paid over $800 million as a result of 4,426 claims. In 2012 alone, it paid over $98 million. However, some argue that this number is not out of proportion with lawsuits filed against private healthcare providers across the country.

No one would expect that having a tooth pulled could result in permanent, debilitating injuries that would require a lifetime of costly care. Any person in North Carolina who feels they are the victim of medical malpractice has the right to pursue a civil court claim for reimbursement of financial losses. By successfully litigating such an action, they may receive monetary damages to help with past and future healthcare and related losses recognized by our laws..

Source: Dayton Daily News, VA's malpractice tab: $845M in 10 years, Josh Sweigart and Aaron Diamant, Nov. 12, 2013

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VA medical malpractice payments create questions | Britton Law, P.A.