VA Medical Malpractice
Insight Interview with David Farnbauch from 06/19/2017 the explaining VA Medical Malpractice.
Q Welcome back to INsight and we’re here with Dave Farnbauch, from Sweeney Law Firm, and this is an interesting topic. So, the V.A., I know they’re trying to fix it, but what happens if something goes wrong to a veteran when they’re receiving V.A. care?
A Dirk, veterans actually have the right to sue for medical malpractice. It’s a different process than civilian medical malpractice, you know, in the regular civilian world of medical malpractice, but there is a system in place for veterans to obtain monetary compensation, if they receive substandard care.
Q Does that include receiving no care because it seems like that is also in the news, but.
A We receive a lot of inquiries at our office regarding V.A. medical care.
Q And so do I need to act quickly? Is there a time limit? It seems like the government would write some laws, maybe, to protect itself.
A They do. There is, it’s much like conventional medical malpractice. There’s a two year statute of limitations. There is an administrative process that victims of medical malpractice sort of initiate before they get into the court system. It’s just a very simple form. This is called a Form 95. It’s just a two page form that is filed with the government and then they get some time to do an investigation to decide whether they’re going to accept or deny the claim. Most claims are denied and then once it goes through this administrative process, where the government is afforded the right to investigate the claim, and usually what will happen is the victim of medical malpractice will retain an attorney and then it goes into the federal court system, where the defendant in the case is the United States of America.
Q Does that make it more difficult on you or on the person that’s bringing this suit?
A You know, medical malpractice, once you get into the federal system are just very similar to medical malpractice claims in the state court. You know, it’s much the same. It’s just that you’re going to have a federal judge, you’re going to have the federal rules, but it’s very similar to medical malpractice in the state system.
Q How does somebody, if they think they’ve been wronged by the V.A., do they need to, what would be your steps? What would be the first thing or the things you need to do?
A What we always recommend is if you have questions about whether you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice at a V.A. facility, and you have questions about what your rights are or whether you might be entitled to compensation, call a law firm that specializes in these kinds of cases. This is a bit of a specialized area. To the best of my knowledge, we’re the only law firm in the Fort Wayne area that really does a steady diet of V.A. medical malpractice cases.
Q Do they cap damages?
A They do. Under the V.A. system of medical malpractice in Indiana, they go by our state cap on damages and in the state of Indiana we have a hard cap on damages of a million two fifty.
Q It’s sad to think that this could happen with the V.A. As much as it’s in the news, as much as people seem to try to fix it, obviously, it’s really big.
A Dirk, you know, obviously, the politicians are always talking about trying to reform the V.A. system, trying to upgrade their medical care. Personally, from what I’ve seen in our office, I’m not seeing that the, what they want to do to improve the system is really resulting in, so far, better medical care for our veterans, unfortunately.
Q All right. If you think that this is something that you might want to pursue, if you have a loved one or could point somebody in the direction of Sweeney Law Firm, go to Sweeneylawfirm.com and learn more about taking those next steps. We’ll be right back on INsight.