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Medical Malpractice Lawyer Representing Injured Veterans in VA Negligence Cases
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VA Negligence Lawyer

investigating VA hospital negligence cases

A recent analysis from the Government Accountability Office determined that several VA medical facilities had ignored a large percentage patient complaints, representing yet another terrible report involving VA medical centers, now well-known for administering low-quality care to patients who ought to be treated as heroes.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), there are now around 22.7 million veterans in the United States. With more veterans in the country seeking medical care, there has been a rise in medical malpractice claims and allegations of VA hospital negligence. As a result, VA negligence claims have increased and compensation and settlements have been awarded to injured U.S. Veterans.

Experienced VA hospital negligence lawyers can represent victims and families following instances of medical malpractice at VA hospitals and medical centers.

It is no secret that VA hospitals are frequently overwhelmed, understaffed and under pressure to stem long delays in treatment. VA hospitals have been accused of medical malpractice by hospital negligence attorneys as they are unable to properly treat the nation’s veterans in a timely manner.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to improper care or VA hospital negligence at a VA medical center, contact a highly-rated medical malpractice lawyer to investigate.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated medical malpractice lawyer representing veterans nationwide in a wide variety of VA hospital negligence claims.

VA Hospital Negligence Injuries

In a recent report, it was found that more than 57,000 veteran patients have been waiting at least three months for medical appointments at VA medical clinics and hospitals.

An additional 64,000 veterans requested medical care and never even made it onto any VA wait list. About 75 percent of the VA’s hospitals and clinics had at least one instance of altering data on wait times to hide evidence of the delays. VA hospital negligence injuries may include:

VA Hospitals & Medical Centers

  • VA Healthcare System—Cincinnati, OH
  • Ashtabula County VA Clinic—Ashtabula, OH
  • Belmont County Outpatient Clinic—St. Clairsville, OH
  • Gallipolis VA Clinic—Gallipolis, OH
  • Chalmers P. Wylie Ambulatory Care Center—Columbus, OH
  • Chillicothe VA Medical Center—Chillicothe, OH
  • Cincinnati VA Medical Center—Cincinnati, OH
  • Dayton VA Medical Center—Dayton, OH
  • Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center—Cleveland, OH
  • Canton Outpatient Clinic—Canton, OH
  • VA Ann Arbor – Toledo Annex—Toledo, OH
  • Youngstown Outpatient Clinic—Youngstown, OH
  • Akron Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Akron, OH
  • Athens Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Athens, OH
  • Cambridge Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Cambridge, OH
  • Clermont County Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Cincinnati, OH
  • East Liverpool/Calcutta Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Calcutta, OH
  • Georgetown Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Georgetown, OH
  • Grove City Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Grove City, OH
  • Hamilton Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Hamilton, OH
  • Lancaster Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Lancaster, OH
  • Lima Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Lima, OH
  • Lorain Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Sheffield Village, OH
  • Mansfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Mansfield, OH
  • Marietta Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Marietta, OH
  • Marion Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Marion, OH
  • McCafferty Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Cleveland, OH
  • Middletown Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Middletown, OH
  • New Philadelphia Community Based Outpatient Clinic—New Philadelphia, OH
  • Newark Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Newark, OH
  • Painesville Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Painesville, OH
  • Parma Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Parma, OH
  • Portsmouth Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Portsmouth, OH
  • Ravenna Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Ravenna, OH
  • Sandusky Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Sandusky, OH
  • Springfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Springfield, OH
  • VA Ann Arbor – Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Toledo, OH
  • Warren Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Warren, OH
  • Wilmington Community-Based Outpatient Clinic—Wilmington, OH
  • Zanesville Community Based Outpatient Clinic—Zanesville, OH
  • Cincinnati Vet Center—Norwood, OH
  • Cleveland Vet Center—Maple Heights, OH
  • Columbus Vet Center—Columbus, OH
  • Dayton Vet Center—Dayton, OH
  • McCafferty Vet Center Outstation—Cleveland, OH
  • Parma Vet Center—Parma, OH
  • Stark County Vet Center—Canton, OH
  • Toledo Vet Center—Toledo, OH

Filing a VA Hospital Negligence Lawsuit 

VA medical malpractice lawsuits are a little different than other medical malpractice claims. Victims cannot directly sue the hospital, but must first file an administrative claim and follow Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) procedures.

To make sure your claim is properly filed and handled, it is recommended that victims contact an Ohio VA hospital negligence lawyer to assist in the process. An experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney can begin to gather evidence, and promptly resolve an injury claim.

In a ten year period, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid out roughly $845 million in malpractice cases. The federal agency faces scrutiny for not only protecting those responsible for veteran injury, but giving bonuses to doctors and other medical staff who provided or presided over Ohio VA malpractice and substandard hospital care.

The VA remains accountable, though with serious issues like delays in care, the VA does not do enough. As a result, it has become common practice to file lawsuits for VA malpractice and hospital negligence.

The system is a little complex, and contacting an experienced VA hospital negligence lawyer is advisable. An attorney can help in expediting the legal process. Victims cannot sue a VA hospital directly, however, and first victims must file administrative claims and follow Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) procedures. To make sure a claim is properly filed and handled, plaintiffs should contact an VA hospital negligence lawyer.

VA injury claims require victims to compile a “Sum Certain,” which is a total account of the compensation a victim is seeking for an injury. This bottom line number can include:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Estimate of future medical costs
  • Physician statement and medical report from the VA Employer statement about lost wages

Concealing VA Medical Malpractice

The VA is the nation’s largest employer of health care workers and for years the system has concealed mistakes by staff members entrusted with caring for veterans. Agency managers often do not report negligent practitioners to state licensing boards, making it possible for them to keep working with patients at other locations.

In some documented cases, veterans’ hospitals signed secret settlements with doctors, nurses and health care workers that agreed to conceal their past mistakes and Surgical Injury.

USA Today reviewed about 230 secret settlement deals and in some the VA agreed to delete negative records from personnel files. Reported negligence includes a nurse who left a psychiatric patient bound in leather restraints for hours, a technician who made errors on bone imaging charts, and a hospital director accused of sexual harassment.

Many cases are associated with the VA’s long wait-time and overmedication tendency. VA policy recommends officials notify another authorities within 100 days of launching an investigation into medical workers. But experts said the VA’s reporting practices leave holes that endanger patients.

Veterans Affairs Hospitals

The VA department cared for 6.6 million veterans in 2014, a greater than 50 percent from 2001. Critics say the federal government has done little to improve treatment. The federal department covers payouts and settlements for any Veterans Affairs Lawsuit filed against the VA, out of a judgment fund.

If you have been injured or experienced malpractice, it could be possible to sue the VA and bring a successful claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs. Before you can sue the VA, you must present a claim within two years of the date of negligence to the appropriate federal agency. The VA requires at least six months to conduct an investigation before suit can be filed in federal court. Procedure includes the following:

  • Filing a Standard Form 95. It is critical to fill out the Standard Form 95 correctly.
  • Attach medical records and other supporting documentation. An attorney can assist in determining crucial documentation for any Veterans Affairs Lawsuit
  • Once the Form 95 has been filed, it can take time and complex legal practices to resolve the claim.

VA Malpractice Lawsuits

When VA administrators do find evidence of medical malpractice, VA facilities sometimes have been known to cover it up. In recent reports, investigators located at least 126 cases in which employees committed serious offenses though they failed to terminate culpable doctors and nurses. In many of the instances, administrators omitted the incidents from employees’ records.

Negligent care has become the norm in VA medical centers. Veterans have to wait agonizingly long periods for care as well. The VA aims to keep wait times for appointments under 14 days, an unreasonable time frame in most cases. Veterans Affairs Secretary recently announced that delays in care will likely increase.

Victims have two years to file a lawsuit from the date of injury or the date of the cause of an injury. After this deadline passes legal options may be more limited and a claim could be dismissed.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What is a “Never Event” in Hospital Care ?

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Learn About the Medical Malpractice Legal Process

Video: Investigating Medical Malpractice

The process for investigating a medical malpractice claims involves the following steps: 

  1. Gather a full and informed history from the family addressing their concerns and thoughts on what went wrong; 
  2. Gather the complete medical records including film studies, if any; 
  3. Review of the records and applicable medical literature by attorneys; 
  4. Review of the records by a qualified physician practicing in the relevant areas on standard of care and causation; 
  5. Final consultation with expert to review opinions;
  6. Signing of Affidavit of Merit by the Expert before case filing, for cases where medical malpractice is identified.