Veterans Deserve Better
After the most recent revelation that VA officials—particularly those in Phoenix– destroyed records reflecting the horrible lack of responsiveness to veterans’ healthcare, veterans and their families have questioned what rights they have with respect to malpractice or wrongful death as a result of poor VA care.
Claims can be brought against the VA under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages which result from malpractice or wrongful death. A document called a Notice of Claim must be provided to the United States government before a lawsuit can be brought, so that the government has an opportunity to investigate and consider settling the claim. Certain survivors are also entitled to make such a claim for the wrongful death of a veteran (death caused by someone else’s negligence). These notices have technical requirements and time deadlines, so the services of a lawyer can be very helpful in presenting such claims. If the Notice of Claim isn’t properly prepared and timely filed, the case may be barred forever. Because attorneys fees are very limited in Federal Tort Claim Act lawsuits, many lawyers do not take these claims. In fact, the government has been very candid about the fact that these constraints on attorneys fees are designed to discourage lawyers from representing veterans and force more veterans to try to handle their claims on their own. We feel strongly, however, that veterans deserve our best care and absolute justice, and would be happy to answer questions or investigate any such claim.