Veterans fight for our freedom and safety in conflicts around the world. In return, they receive benefits for their selfless acts. One benefit is the medical care provided to them by a Veteran’s Affairs medical facility.
VA hospitals have become understaffed and underfunded in recent years and because of this, serious malpractice issues have surfaced, many leading to wrongful death. Wrongful death lawyers have helped many families who wish to file a lawsuit when their loved one died.
David Azizi, called one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles by Super Lawyers, is available to help families torn apart by their loved one’s death. Call David for free advice on what you should and can do moving forward. David has successfully handled numerous wrongful death lawsuits for clients.
Filing a Claim Against the VA in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Due to Malpractice
When a person dies due to malpractice by the VA, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim under the Federal Claims Tort Act. The claim is filed using Standard Form 95. This detailed form is sent to the VA. Once the VA receives and reviews this form, they will decide whether to settle with the family. If the VA denies the claim or ignores it over a specified period of time, it may be taken to a civil court, provided the filing deadline is met. It is crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side during this process who will ensure that all documents are filed on time.
Damages the Family May Receive
The family may claim economic and non-economic damages in the present and the future. An example of this would be the wages the deceased earned. The family may ask that the court award the financial equivalent of wages the person was earning at the time of his or her death. In addition, the family would receive the wages the decedent might have earned in the future. The family members could also be awarded the benefits, bonuses, and retirement income the decedent would have earned.
Are Punitive Damages Awarded?
No, the Federal Tort Claims Act does not allow the family to file a claim for punitive damages. This type of damage is meant to punish the hospital and the physician involved in the decedent’s care. It is vital that the compensatory damages are properly calculated since punitive damages are not allowed.
Statute of Limitations in a VA Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are strict deadlines that must be met when filing a VA wrongful death lawsuit. According to the FTCA, the statute of limitation is limited to two years from when the injury occurred. If this date is allowed to pass without filing the wrongful death claim, it will not be heard.
Qualification for Filing a Claim Under the FTCA
The claim must be for monetary damages for the death of an individual due to a negligent medical act (or lack of care) by a government employee acting within the parameters of his or her employ. This includes doctors, nurses and pharmacists employed by the hospital.
Free Case Evaluation with a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your loved one was killed due to medical malpractice at the VA, call David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. David will give you your options going forward. You can also reach out to David by using his online contact form.