Military Medical and VA Hospital Malpractice • Carlson Law Firm
Negligent Military Medical Malpractice, Doctor Error, and Birth Injury
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Members of the military and their families may not be aware that they can take action if they have been harmed by a doctor’s mistake or any other type of medical malpractice in a military hospital. Despite persistent myths, there is no government immunity that shields military doctors and hospitals for professional negligence that causes injury or death to a patient. Military medical professionals are held to the same standards of professional medical care as any other healthcare provider. If you’re suffering due to Military Medical Malpractice or VA Hospital Malpractice, contact our firm. The Carlson Law Firm can help.
If you or a family member who is a military dependent were harmed because of doctor’s mistake or a nurse’s negligence in a military hospital in Fort Hood, Temple or Waco area, you should seek legal advice. You may be able to file a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Regardless of the details of your case, the moment you realize something went wrong because of a medical mistake in a military or veterans’ hospital, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
The Carlson Law Firm represents clients throughout the state of Texas at the following locations:
- 7th Medical Group – Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
- 12th Medical Group – Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
- 17th Medical Group – Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
- 47th Medical Group – Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
- 59th Medical Wing – Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
- 82nd Medical Group – Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
- 311th Medical Squadron – Brooks City Air Force Base, Texas
- Amarillo VA Health Care System – Amarillo, Texas
- Branch Health Clinic Fort Worth – Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
- Branch Health Clinic Ingleside – Ingleside, San Patricio County, Texas
- Branch Health Clinic Kingsville – Kingsville, Kleberg County, Texas
- Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center – Fort Hood, Bell County, Texas
- Central Texas Veterans Health Care System – Temple, Texas
- Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Center – Temple, Texas
- Waco VA Medical Center – Waco, Texas
- Dallas VA Medical Center – Dallas, Texas
- El Paso VA Health Care System – El Paso, Texas
- Kerrville VA Medical Center – Kerrville, Texas
- Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center – Houston, Texas
- Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas
- North Texas VA Health Care System – Dallas, Texas
- Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center – Bonham, Texas
- South Texas Veterans Health Care System – San Antonio, Texas
- VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network – Texas
- West Texas VA Health Care System – Big Spring, Texas
- Wilford Hall Medical Center – Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
What is Military Medical Malpractice?
If you have received treatment at a military or veterans facility, you should be guaranteed safe and competent medical treatment. When a military health care provider has behaved carelessly or recklessly with your health, you are entitled to hold the practitioner, nurse(s) and/or institution accountable. The Carlson Law Firm can help you determine if you have a solid case for military medical malpractice. We can help you prove:
- A healthcare professional in a military medical facility acted inappropriately or failed to act in a way that caused injury or death to you or a loved one.
- That the injury or death of a patient was caused in a military medical facility.
It is important to note that when you file a claim against a veteran’s hospital or another military health facility, you must sue the United States government. However, a claim can be filed against the individual healthcare provider if he or she is an independent contractor.
An experienced attorney can assist you in filing a claim that can help alleviate the financial burdens many veterans deal with after suffering a personal injury from military medical malpractice. The courts will award damages for:
- Noneconomic or General Damages: pain and suffering, loss in quality of life, emotional distress, survivors’ mental anguish after the wrongful death of a loved one.
- Economic or Special Damages: lost wages and services, cost of medical care, and disability.
- Future Damages: looks ahead at both noneconomic and economic damages resulting from the injury.
Who Can Hold the Military/ Government Accountable?
Sovereign immunity usually shields the federal government from lawsuits. However, there are two exceptions to this doctrine. The first is called the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) which permits individuals to bring claims against the federal government for personal injuries that occurred in the United States. The second, the Military Claims Act (MCA), is for personal injury cases that did not happen on U.S. soil. The MCA serves as a supplement to the FCTA to protect U.S. families who have suffered injuries from medical malpractice outside of the U.S. If a claim under the MCA is denied, then the claimant does not have a right to sue. The MCA does not permit active duty service members to file a claim for injuries caused by their active service. Filings under both of these Acts should be handled by a skilled military or Veterans Affairs hospital malpractice attorney.
Unfortunately, in most instances, active duty members cannot file claims against the government under the Feres Doctrine. Therefore, the FTCA and MCA only apply to all non-active military personnel or dependents (spouses and children) who have received substandard care from a military medical facility.
What You Need to Know About Filing A Claim
The Standard Form 95 is the first step to bringing your claim against the military hospital that injured you. Before you take this step, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney. One error on this form can have your claim rejected and prevent you from holding the parties responsible for your injury accountable. The Carlson Law Firm can assist you in the step by step process of filing a claim so that you stand a fighting chance when you decide to take on the United States Government. Please be advised that from the date the existence and cause of an injury are become known, there is a statute of limitations of two years to file a military medical malpractice claim under the FTCA and MCA.
Birth Injury in Military Hospitals
Any trauma caused to a child before, during or after the birthing process is considered a birth injury. Birth injuries are largely preventable and avoidable if preventative measures are taken by the attending physician. According to a 2014 New York Times report, military families are twice as likely to experience birth injuries as civilian families. Depending on several factors, birth injuries can be temporary or permanent. Injuries can vary from infant to infant depending on the type of trauma sustained, but there are several types of birth injury inflictions:
The leading brain injury in relation to birth trauma is cerebral palsy. It affects around 800,000 children and can be caused by a caring physician’s failure to: carry out an emergency C-section or properly use birth assisting tools; identify and treat prolapsed umbilical cords; and/or monitor oxygen levels or fetal distress.
Brachial Plexus is the weakness and inability to use certain muscles in the upper arm. This birth trauma usually occurs during delivery and can sometimes affect the shoulders and hands.
Erb’s Palsy is a form of brachial plexus that includes the nerves of the affected arm. In severe cases, infants have total paralysis in the affected arm.
Klumpke’s Palsy is a form brachial plexus where damage is caused the lower nerves of the arm. In infants suffering from Klumpke’s Palsy, the arm, wrist, and fingers. Symptoms include total paralysis in the affected area and the hand usually takes on a permanent, claw-like shape.
Shoulder Dystocia is a rare birth injury that occurs in 1 percent of infants. Shoulder Dystocia happens when an infant’s head and shoulder get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. Complications have can arise are typically severe and can risk maternal hemorrhaging and uterine rupture. The baby may experience difficulties breathing, collarbone fractures, cerebral palsy and in some cases death.
An Ob/Gyn’s job is to detect and treat any maternal problems that arise during pregnancy. Infections such as group B strep or meningitis are infections that a mother may unknowingly carry in the vagina. Children are susceptible to these infections when they pass through the birth canal.
Conditions Developed During Pregnancy:
Physicians have an obligation to check for folic acid deficiency, anemia and spina bifida. These are preventable birth injuries that can be avoided by a physician recommending or prescribing proper supplements.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome:
A life-threatening condition that occurs when an infant breathes in a mixture of meconium (first newborn infant feces) and amniotic fluid floods the lungs and prevents the infant from receiving adequate oxygen.
Injuries From Delivery:
Delivery trauma is a common occurrence. These injuries often occur from tools used to assist in delivery including a vacuum extractor or forceps. Administering wrong medication and mishandling the infant can also result in birth injury. Newborns can also experience injury from stress, high blood pressure or hypertension.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN):
Can be caused by medical negligence. Prescribed medications such as Zoloft, Celexa, and Paxil have been linked to high blood pressure and can place stress on an infant during pregnancy. Other causes can be a failure to treat lack of oxygen or performing an unnecessary C-section.
Military doctors are employed by the government, but they are as responsible as any other healthcare provider for adhering to professional standards of care. As a parent, you strive to protect and provide for your child. If you or a loved one are living with infant injury from the negligence of a military health care professional or facility, call The Carlson Law Firm today.
Veterans Affairs Hospital Medical Malpractice
Our veterans are the cornerstone of our country and deserve the greatest respect and care that we have to offer. Unfortunately, reports of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals with long wait times and lack of competent health care professionals, who sometimes create more medical problems for the veterans they serve, remains a persistent problem in several military communities.
VA hospital malpractice can include:
- Anesthesia Errors
- Delay in Diagnosis
- Undiagnosed Condition That Resulted in Death or Loss in Quality of Life
- Delay in Treatment
- Emergency Room Errors
- Negligence During Surgery
- Planned C-Section Early Delivery Because of Due Date Miscalculation
- Prescription Negligence in Psychiatric Patients
- And more
If you or a loved one has experienced a loss of quality of life or loss of life through the negligence of a VA hospital, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to get answers to your questions.
The Carlson Law Firm Will Fight For You Following Military Medical Malpractice
Don’t let small errors keep you from getting the justice you deserve. The Carlson Law Firm offers free consultations with a military medical malpractice or VA hospital malpractice lawyer. If a surgical or medication error caused serious harm to you or a family member in a government-operated hospital serving active military or veterans, then contact us today. One of our military medical malpractice and VA hospital malpractice attorneys will be glad to assist you. We will file the correct paperwork on your behalf and represent you in court. We serve injured clients statewide. No appointment is necessary during normal business house.
Our bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish speaking clients.