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Medical malpractice claims could settle before going to trial

Like veterans of the Armed Forces who reside here in Louisiana, many veterans rely on VA hospitals for their health care needs. They trust that the doctors working in those facilities have the patient's best interests in mind when searching for a diagnosis and creating a treatment plan. When something goes wrong, and it looks like it was the fault of the VA hospital and its medical staff, a medical malpractice claim could be an appropriate course of action. If the opportunity to settle arises, it could provide a swift and painless end to protracted litigation.

One Army veteran filed a lawsuit against the VA medical center in his area due to medical mistakes from which he may never fully recover. A VA doctor determined that the man needed a surgical procedure due to a "near completely blocked carotid artery" back in 2015 -- mistake number one. The man was told to stop his normal regimen of taking aspirin daily approximately one week prior to the procedure. That was mistake number two, and that policy changed after this man's procedure.

It turns out that the Virginia man did not even need the surgery because his artery was not the problem. He had a stroke. The procedure was supposed to last only about an hour, but instead lasted closer to five hours. That was the third mistake. Recently, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit for around $750,000.

Settlements are common in medical malpractice cases, including many filed here in Louisiana. If it appears that the evidence supports the claim, defendants often offer settlements in order to control the outcome since there is no way to predict what a court could award. Many victims decide to settle in order to receive the restitution they need so they can move forward with their lives. This does not mean that a case should not go to trial, but the option could ensure that victims and their families receive a fair and sure settlement without having to wait what could be a protracted period of time.

Source: wric.com, "Veteran settles medical malpractice lawsuit with McGuire VA Medical Center", Parker Slaybaugh, May 11, 2017

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