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Veterans Affairs Errors

Veterans Affairs Errors

South Carolina Military Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Skilled representation for service members and veterans throughout the country

Military personnel risk life and limb to defend the principles of this country and its citizens. When their valiant service comes to an end, they rely on Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities to properly treat their resulting injuries and conditions. They expect the VA to provide them with the same level of service that they gave to their country for the assurance that each and every veteran is afforded adequate medical care. Unfortunately, the VA does not always rise to these standards, with misdiagnoses, improper treatment, or surgical errors.

Additionally, recent changes to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will allow active duty members of the military and their families to seek compensation for injuries or death due to medical malpractice from a Department of Defense healthcare provider. This will be the first time in almost seven decades that service members and military personnel will be eligible to pursue compensation from the government for these types of cases.

The attorneys of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, take these cases very seriously. Military malpractice and VA medical errors can cause lifelong medical, emotional, and financial problems. Allow an experienced South Carolina VA injury lawyer to assist you in seeking a financial recovery.

Active duty military members and eligibility for malpractice claims

Military members and their families have always been blocked from bringing malpractice claims against Department of Defense-run hospitals and medical facilities under the Feres Doctrine. However, under the 2020 reauthorization of the NDAA, the law is set to change dramatically. Active duty service members will be able to file claims for compensation if they were injured by negligent or wrongful treatment at a military facility.

It is important to note that, as active duty service members, you are still barred from suing the federal government for malpractice. However, you can file a malpractice claim. The military will review your claim via a formal procedure and, if they find your claim valid, they will determine the value and amount of damages. The majority of malpractice claims are to be capped at $100,000, with other restrictions. However, in some cases, the Pentagon may have the discretion to authorize higher settlements in extreme circumstances.

Experienced representation in government liability cases

In 1946, Congress enacted the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which allows individuals to sue the United States government for its employees’ negligence. Prior to this time, a legal doctrine called “sovereign immunity” prevented such lawsuits against government agencies and employees. The FTCA provides a limited waiver of sovereign immunity by the United States and allows private individuals to sue for torts (civil wrongs) committed against them by government employees in the course of their work. This law proved extremely important for veterans and their families who are now able to sue the VA for medical errors in treatment.

The majority of FTCA cases handled by our firm involve medical malpractice claims against military or veterans’ hospitals. These cases involve very specific procedural and evidentiary rules that may jeopardize your award if not followed properly. The FTCA spells them out in detail, even mandating which government forms are to be used and the determination of compensation. From a procedural standpoint, FTCA parties must participate in a settlement conference to attempt a mutual agreement. If one is not reached, the case proceeds to trial in federal court. It is vitally important that you secure guidance from an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney who is knowledgeable in the correct pursuit of a federal tort claim and able to properly present your case to a federal judge if it progresses to that stage.

Handling a variety of VA medical errors

The risk of military service results in a number of common injuries and conditions among veterans. Additionally, and equally as important are the medical malpractice claims of the service member’s family members who are treated at the VA or military institutions. Veterans who are treated in a negligent manner (while on active duty) can file a claim with the department of defense and all retired or non-active duty veterans and any members of their family can file suit against the government for any injury from negligent medical care.    Left inadequately treated, even the mildest condition may develop into a serious injury with life-changing consequences. While others are more common among soldiers of recent conflicts, it is important not to forget the challenges that older veterans face as well. Soldiers from the Korean and Vietnam wars faced shockingly inadequate levels of care, leaving them with complications that they will live with for the rest of their lives.

Our veterans deserve to have the best possible medical care. If you or a loved one is a veteran who has been mistreated by the VA, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you.

Contact our South Carolina veterans’ rights attorneys today

The South Carolina military medical malpractice attorneys of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC have years of experience litigating the most challenging of cases. We are ready and able to provide veterans and their families with the skill and commitment that their claim deserves. Call 855-296-0828 or fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free case evaluation at one of our offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Anderson, Sumter, Georgetown, and Charleston, Greenville, and Columbia.

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