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Veterans Medical Malpractice
1151 Claim: What Is It and How Can Veterans File?
Veterans Exploring Compensation Under Section 1151 May Come Across Federal Tort Claims as Another Avenue for Seeking Relief.
A Section 1511 claim is filed by a Veteran who sustained an injury or illness resulting from negligence or malpractice during their treatment at a VA facility.
According to 38 USC § 1151, Veterans are eligible for both benefits and compensation if they were harmed while under the care of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This could be caused in many ways, including VA treatment, hospitalization, surgery, examinations, and/or training.
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How Do I Know if I'm Eligible for an 1151 Claim?
To qualify as eligible for an 1151, a Veteran must either have a new disability or a current disability that became worse due to care they received from the VA.
The family of a Veteran can also file an 1151 claim if a Veteran dies because of negligence.
The most common types of care associated with an 1151 claim are the following:
• Vocational Rehabilitation Course.
• One which is typically taken through the VA (Chapter 31 Benefits).
• Medical or Surgical Treatment.
• Carelessness or Negligence.
• Compensated Work Therapy.
• VA-Administered Health Exam.
Furthermore, under 38 U.S.C. § 1151, Veterans are required to show that the VA caused their disability or worsened it, which is more commonly referred to as proximate cause.
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How Can Veterans Prove that the VA is at Fault?
There are three separate ways to prove that the VA is responsible, those are:
• Negligence is responsible for disability and/or death.
• Events were not foreseeable and directly caused disability and/or death.
• VA Vocational Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) caused disability and/or death.
To prove that the VA was negligent, one would need to prove that they did not provide a reasonable level of care and/or did not get informed consent.
Failing to provide a level of care that is expected of a reasonable health care provider can be inclusive of acts such as the following:
• Medication Errors.
• Surgical Mistakes.
• Birth Injuries.
• Diagnosis Errors.
Furthermore, informed consent must be in an easy-to-understand language and include the following elements:
• Explanation on if a specific treatment is deemed unorthodox.
• Anticipated results if nothing is done.
• Reasonable and available alternatives.
• Complications and/or side effects.
• Foreseeable associated risks.
• Expected benefits.
• Nature of proposed procedure and/or treatment.
Often, many high-risk procedures require a patient to sign before they take place.
A Veteran must understand the possible risks associated with their procedure before they agree to it, and, if a Veteran cannot consent; if continuing to wait would present more risk; immediate medical care is needed to preserve life, this is classified as implied consent.
Finally, if you develop a disability due to working for a VA-funded Vocational Rehabilitation program, you could be eligible for 1151-related benefits as well.
The VA will investigate the time and place where the injury occurred and will work to investigate if the program itself was responsible for the injury.
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If you, or someone you love, is having a tough time with the Department of Veterans Affairs and claiming the benefits needed to sustain a comfortable quality of life, do not wait another minute – contact us today! We are always available by phone at (866) 866-VETS.
Our firm works on contingency, so there are no fees whatsoever unless we win your claim for benefits.
We are accredited to stand for you anywhere within the United States, so even if you cannot make it to one of our many offices, we can still help you along the way.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost To Hire You?
It does not cost you anything to hire our Veterans Benefits Law Firm as your attorneys. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not owe us anything unless we win you an award. Our firm charges 20%, which is deducted by the VA from your lump sum payment for retroactive benefits.
How Long Will It Take To Appeal My Benefits Denial?
While it can take six months or more for a Veteran to receive a decision on his or her initial benefits claim from the Department of Veterans Affairs, appeals could take 2 years of more. The Department of Veterans Affairs lacks the funding to properly staff and process benefits applications. The number of applications from recently returning Veterans must be dealt with while the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to actively work towards providing services to prior generations of Veterans.
How Do I Increase My Disability Rating?
Great question! If the condition that you are actively receiving disability benefits for has now ultimately worsened over time, you can file an increased rating claim. It’s fairly simple, and it involves filing out an online claim form or mailing a letter to your regional office documenting the change in your condition.
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All communication with the Department of Veterans Affairs can be conducted remotely; personal appearances are not required.
Our law firm is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist Veterans anywhere across the United States.
Furthermore, our clients do not need to go to a physical location or visit an office to receive our help. If there are any medical visits that are applicable to your claim, you can be seen at a facility that is close to your home. So, no matter where you are, if you need help, we’re here to fight for you the same way that you bravely fought to protect us.
Call us now! (866) 866-VETS.