Delays in Medical Diagnosis and Treatment at VA Hospitals Lead to Preventable Deaths in Veterans

We trust military doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to ensure that our loved ones receive the highest level of care. Sadly, the rate of preventable deaths in military medical facilities due to delayed diagnosis is staggeringly high.

VA hospitals delay treatment or provide inadequate treatment

The VA’s inability to adequately serve patients has often been covered in the news. In 2018, the family of Aaron Merritt received a $2.5 million settlement for a wrongful death case against the VA. Merritt, 26, died in a VA hospital from septic blood and low blood cell count, following several missed diagnoses and opportunities for treatment. He had been home nine months after completing three tours in the Middle East and after receiving a colitis diagnosis before the end of his service.

The wait time between diagnosis and treatment of cancer has increased overall in the U.S. – but VA patients are waiting four times longer than the national average. Proper, responsible care from military medical professionals at VA hospitals could have helped prevent or delay the deaths of these heroes.

Experienced injury lawyers can hold VA hospitals responsible for delayed diagnosis

Military service members and their families are able to hold the military responsible by filing an administrative claim for a settlement under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) as long as their case meets the following qualifications:

  • The victim was injured or his property was damaged by a federal government employee (not an independent contractor)
  • The employee was acting within the scope of official duties
  • The employee was acting negligently or wrongfully
  • The negligent or wrongful act proximately caused the injury or damage

A knowledgeable California medical malpractice attorney can help you compile the necessary documentation to establish that the claim meets FTCA requirements. If that claim is accepted, the US government will pay damages to the victim. If declined, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit to recover compensation for injury or wrongful death as a result of delayed diagnosis.

If the delayed diagnosis worsens an existing disability or adds another disability to a veteran seeking care, your attorney may be able to file a Section 1151 claim through the US Department of Veterans Affairs for disability compensation.

Preventable veteran deaths are an unacceptable loss

United States veterans deserve the highest level of medical care possible, and any delay in diagnosis or treatment is unacceptable. The Bertling Law Group fights to obtain compensation and benefits for those affected by medical negligence or medical malpractice in military hospitals. Our attorney serves veterans and military families throughout California and nationwide. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or by calling 844-295-7558 today.