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Washington, D.C., VA Hospital Delay Lawyer

Close up of veteran with two doctors in the background at clinic.

America’s veterans did not hesitate to protect and defend our nation. Yet too many former service members are harmed and even die because of delays in medical screening and treatments at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.

At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates, we are passionate about pursuing the maximum compensation for veterans whose health has deteriorated due to negligent VA healthcare providers. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the legal and medical aspects of a delayed VA treatment claim. We understand what is at stake for those suffering physical, emotional, and financial distress. And we are ready to help veterans and their families.

Contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates today to learn more in a free consultation.

Does the VA Have a History of Delayed Screenings and Treatments?

There are many news stories about the history of the VA’s dismal record in timely medical screenings and treatments for veterans. CNN disclosed that there were at least 19 reported incidents of veterans dying because of delays in simple medical screenings, including colonoscopies and endoscopies, at VA hospitals and clinics in the Southeast. In another example, the VA’s own report shows that 117 veterans in California died with open or pending consultations with medical providers.

What Are Some Examples of Delays and the Complications They Cause?

Timely medical intervention for veterans who depend on VA hospitals for their care can be a matter of life and death. However, various circumstances cause devastating delays and consequences at VA facilities.

Here are some alarming examples:

Death from Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Many veterans have delayed diagnoses for various types of cancer due to VA appointment and screening backlogs. It is critical to catch cancer early because waiting can allow the disease to advance to terminal stages. A delay in the initial screening can mean the difference between often treatable, early-stage cancer and late-stage cancer, which can be much harder to combat and can result in fatal outcomes.

Amputations Due to Delays in Care for Diabetes, Hypertension, or Vascular Disease

Chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and vascular diseases require consistent monitoring and care. Delays in these vital services can lead to irreversible complications. For instance, non-healing ulcers stemming from diabetes left unchecked can escalate to gangrene, leaving amputation as the only treatment recourse.

Delayed Cardiac Care Increases Risk for Fatal Heart Attacks

Heart ailments are time-sensitive. Delays in diagnosis or treatments like angioplasty can lead to more significant heart damage or fatal heart attacks.

Inadequate Mental Health Services as Veterans’ Suicide Rates Soar

The second-leading cause of death for post-9/11 veterans is suicide. Nearly 20 self-inflicted deaths occur daily among veterans. Delays in addressing mental health issues, particularly for veterans suffering from PTSD or depression, can have tragic outcomes, including severe mental breakdowns or suicides.

Disabled veteran feeling pain inside their house.

What Is the “Secret Waiting List” I Have Heard Of?

The “secret waiting list” is a term used to describe unofficial lists maintained by some VA facilities. Instead of adding veterans to the official Electronic Wait List, some VA employees allegedly kept separate lists, essentially hiding the true extent of wait times. According to CNN, as many as 1,600 sick veterans waited months to see a doctor. At least 40 veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were on this secret waiting list.

How Can I Sue the Veterans Affairs?

You can sue the VA or its employees if you believe you suffered harm due to negligence or wrongful acts. However, there are specific requirements and procedures to follow:

  • File a claim – Before suing, you must give the VA a chance to solve the problem. File a claim with the VA, explaining the harm or negligence you faced and what compensation you want.
  • Wait for the VA’s response – The VA has six months to respond. They might offer to settle, or they might not.
  • File a lawsuit – If the VA doesn’t offer a fair settlement or doesn’t respond, a Washington, D.C., VA hospital delay lawyer can help you file a lawsuit in federal court.
  • Present your case – A skilled attorney can show evidence of the harm or negligence you suffered and explain why the VA should compensate you.

What Is the Federal Tort Claims Act?

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows private individuals to file lawsuits against the federal government for harm caused by negligence. Under this Act, if a VA employee acts negligently and a veteran suffers harm as a result, the veteran can file a claim against the VA by filing a “Form 95, Claim for Damages, Injury, or Death” within two years after the malpractice is committed. Suing the VA is a complex process. You should consult a Washington, D.C., VA hospital delay lawyer to understand your legal rights.

What Compensation Might I Be Able to Receive?

Individual compensation depends on the severity and extent of your injuries. Your lawyer can assess your claim and pursue appropriate compensation, which could cover the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses in the case of wrongful death

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Against the VA?

Washington, D.C., has a statute of limitations that allows three years from the date of the medical malpractice for the injured party to file a lawsuit. There may be circumstances that qualify for an extension of the statutory period. But generally, the court will not consider a lawsuit filed after the deadline passes. Due to the complicated nature of medical malpractice claims against the VA, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible.

Contact a Washington, D.C., VA Hospital Delay Lawyer

Waiting an unreasonable time for medical screenings and treatment for America’s veterans can result in serious medical conditions and death. If you are a veteran or their family member, a Washington, D.C., VA hospital delay lawyer can help you pursue compensation for injuries or wrongful death. When the VA system falters, taking legal action can be an avenue to justice and systemic improvements for all veterans. Contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates today to learn more in a free consultation.

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