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Department of Veterans Affairs pays for medical malpractice

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been busy in the state of North Carolina; busy making mistakes, that is. A recent report reveals that four VA facilities in North Carolina chose to settle 29 wrongful death cases during the decade after the 9/11 attacks. Investigative reports have painted a picture of systematic medical malpractice that includes failure to diagnose, along with a variety of other concerns, at several VA facilities.

The VA has been overwhelmed by the demand for medical services in recent years, even with the deaths of large populations of World War II veterans. Almost anyone who has served in the military and received an honorable discharge is eligible to receive care through the VA, even if they never served in a conflict. VA facilities throughout the nation have come under fire, however, with veterans pointing out long treatment delays and various financial woes.

In North Carolina, many of the medical malpractice claims against the VA never make it into a trial court; as a result, details of the cases are not always publicized. Instead, families may be stuck in a lengthy bureaucratic process that facilitates the resolution of claims within the agency. Personal injury attorneys may be able to speed the process along.

Veterans who have served our country -- even in peacetime -- deserve quality medical care without fearing serious injury at a VA facility. That is not always the case, however, as dozens of grieving family members know. Still, attorneys in North Carolina have helped secure settlements as large as $750,000 for their VA wrongful-death clients. Relatives who have lost a loved one to a doctor's fatal mistake do not have to suffer in silence; they may be eligible for similar financial compensation.

Source:  News & Observer, "VA hospitals in NC paid out $4.7 million in wrongful-death claims in post-9/11 decade" Martha Quillin, Apr. 07, 2014

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