Hospitals throughout the U.S., including VA facilities, are facing pressure to reduce the number of preventable medical errors that have led to a growing number of patient injuries or deaths. The trouble is that while there is a seven percent increase in medical errors reported at VA hospitals, there has been an eighteen percent dip in investigations as to why they occurred. As malpractice payouts to veterans have reached a 12-year high, a pattern of preventable deaths and low accountability has, unfortunately, become evident.
Although the VA has emerged as a fairly frequent offender, the truth is that medical malpractice can occur anywhere, and more often than doctors would care to admit. If you have suffered injury due to the carelessness of your doctor, you may have questions about what your options are.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
In order for a case to be considered medical malpractice, your case must meet four basic criteria:
- First, you must be able to show that your doctor owed you a duty of care in agreeing to treat you.
- Second, you must prove that the doctor’s actions (or inactions) were in breach of this duty. Usually this means that the doctor did not act in a reasonable manner due to carelessness, lack of attention, fatigue, or through a lack of skill.
- Third, the doctor’s actions must have resulted in your injury. If your doctor’s carelessness did not actually amount to anything, then the case cannot be considered medical malpractice.
- Finally, it must be shown that the injury was directly caused, or contributed to, by the doctor.
What are My Legal Options?
Depending on your situation, you have a few different options for legal recourse. If you have been injured through the negligence of a VA doctor, you may file a claim through the VA for disability compensation. Alternatively, you may be able to collect damages under the Federal Torts Claims Act. Under the FTCA, you have the right to collect compensation for pain and suffering as well as for economic losses resulting from your injury. These types of cases are not easy to win, which is why it is critical to secure the representation of an experienced attorney to increase your chances of success.
Non-veterans who received preventable injuries in regular hospitals may be able to file suit against their physicians, other care providers, or the hospital itself for malpractice. You may be entitled to collect compensation for pain and suffering, mental or emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.
Because medical malpractice lawsuits can be lengthy, time consuming, and complex, it is essential that you contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney who has extensive experience with these types of cases. Since 1978, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured clients. For a free case evaluation, please contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco at (888) 899-0652.