Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.
MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE
Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Advocating for Veterans Who Suffer Injuries or Death Resulting from Negligence
In return for honorably serving your country, you should expect to receive quality health care from VA hospitals and clinics. You deserve to be compensated if, instead, the VA injures you.
Bertling Law Group can help you access all available resources for compensation. Prior to providing veteran advocacy, our medical malpractice lawyer spent three decades defending hospitals, nurses and doctors accused of wrongdoing, helping to spare insurance companies millions of dollars in unsubstantiated damages. We now use that insight to help injured patients recover the damages to which they are entitled. Because of this time spent "on the other side", we know exactly where the issues are and can spot them with pinpoint precision. We now use that insight to help injured VA patients recover the damages to which they are entitled.
While you focus on recovery, we promise to give you compassionate and committed advocacy. Our one-on-one approach builds a strong relationship between the client and the attorney as we work with you to:
Find Answers to Your Questions About Went Wrong
Obtain Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries
Prevent Future Harm from Happening to Others
Please do not delay in getting the help you need. There is a strict statute of limitations for these claims. If you miss the deadline, you could waive your rights to damages. Instead, we urge you to tell us your story so that we can work with you and your family so that you can be compensated for duties dodged and debts to you unpaid.
Federal Tort Claims Act permits you to recover from the VA
The Federal Tort Claims Act permits private parties to sue the United States for personal injuries its employees cause. To file a valid FTCA claim, you must prove the following:
That a Veterans Affairs employee injured you.
That the VA employee acted within the scope of her or his official duties.
That the VA employee acted negligently or wrongfully.
That the VA employee’s negligent or wrongful act was the proximate cause of your injury.
You may file an FTCA claim against any employee of the VA, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, psychologists or any other health care provider employed by the VA who were engaged in job duties when they injured you. You may seek damages for pain and suffering in addition to coverage of medical bills and lost wages.
Section 1151 benefits cover your disabilities
U.S. Code Title 38 Section 1151 governs disability benefits available to veterans injured at a VA facility. This law in essence treats the injury as military service-related.
Applying for Section 1151 benefits is typically a faster process than suing the government under FTCA. However, you are limited to compensation for errors arising out of medical care that result in disabilities. You may apply for Section 1151 benefits simultaneously to your FTCA claim. Your benefits and recovery may be reduced to avoid overlapping payments, but our lawyer can often avoid offset.
Along with your application, you must submit evidence that supports your claim. The agency reviews your claim in the light most favorable to you. You cannot simply show that you were injured at the hospital; you must also show that the VA failed to exercise reasonable care.
Similar to a medical malpractice claim, you must prove causation, and that the injury would not have occurred but for the mistakes made by the VA. For injuries that happened at a vocational facilities or VA compensated work therapy (CWT) program, you must only show that the facility caused your injury—a slightly lesser standard. If you are already receiving veterans’ benefits for a disability and the care at the VA exacerbated your condition, you may qualify for an increase in your benefits.
Common medical malpractice claims
A wide range of injuries may be inflicted by a negligent military doctor. Some common types of medical negligence include the following:
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
Delays in medical diagnosis
Negligent prenatal care
Medication and prescription errors
Surgical negligence and unnecessary surgeries
Post-surgical errors and infections
Recover benefits and damages for your VA medical malpractice claim
Bertling Law Group helps veterans recover rightful compensation for injuries caused by the VA. Learn more about applying for Section 1151 benefits and filing a FTCA lawsuit. Your first consultation with our veterans’ injuries attorney at Bertling Law Group is free and our firm takes all personal injury cases on contingency basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we collect compensation on your case. Contact us at 844-295-7558.
Common Veteran Impairments that May Lead to Legal Claims
Training for and fighting in the armed services takes a toll on your body. You are exposed to extreme conditions that demand intense physical and mental strength. For this reason, you are at high risk of serious impairments that need expert medical care. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is supposed to provide you with treatment. However, if the VA fails you, you may be entitled to compensation.
Bertling Law Group is dedicated to California military veterans and their families. We have 30 years of medical malpractice defense experience that is an advantage when understanding medical issues and proving your injury claim.
Gain rightful coverage for physical conditions
Armed services veterans may suffer from mysterious symptoms that must be accurately diagnosed to render the appropriate treatment. Doctors and nurses at a Veterans’ Affairs hospital and facilities should be well trained to identify and treat unusual and rare conditions arising out of military service, such as the following:
Chemical exposure: If you were exposed to chemicals, you are at greater risk of aggressive cancers and other serious terminal illnesses that leave your body vulnerable to further damage. Your doctor should take extra precautions to avoid exacerbating your toxin exposure related condition.
Infectious disease: If you were stationed in a remote area of jungle or desert, you may be susceptible to infectious diseases that are uncommon in the United States. Early diagnosis is key to obtaining the best treatments; otherwise, your condition may worsen. In addition, you could place your family at risk of an undiagnosed contagious parasitic, viral or bacterial infection.
Traumatic brain injury: TBI is one of the most common active duty injuries military members sustain. Your head does not have to receive a direct hit to be injured; a nearby explosion or a hard jolt to your body can shake your brain and cause a serious concussion. A second concussion before a previous one heals can create chronic severe brain impairment.
Eardrum damage: Working around artillery, heavy machinery, aircraft engines and ship engine rooms can damage the inner and middle ear. The effects reach beyond just your hearing. You may experience balance and coordination issues and pain.
Treating mental health is crucial to overall recovery
You may appear physically fine, but have actually suffered a serious injury. The pressures of the job, and often facing life-or-death situations, can have lasting effects on mental health. You can get help if the issue is identified, but gone untreated, psychological conditions are just as harmful to a person’s overall health as physical ones. Unfortunately, the VA too often misses signs of mental distress and other common conditions that arise after military service:
PTSD: Military combatants are 15 times as likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder than civilians. Nightmares, nervousness, anger and insomnia can hinder your ability to successfully return to civilian life.
Depression: Military combatants are five times as likely to suffer from depression than civilians. If you suffered a life-altering disability or witnessed atrocities, you are at even higher risk of becoming depressed.
TBI: Traumatic brain injury can manifest as mental impairment. Obtaining appropriate care for both physical and mental issues is crucial to your recovery.
Veteran suicide and the VA
In addition to providing physical care, the VA has an obligation to support the mental health of our nation's veterans. In some cases, requests for that support meet significant delays. The results of delayed mental health treatment for issues such as PTSD, pain, and injuries too often results in a loss of a life off the battlefield. Without the promised support easily accessible, active duty and veterans turn to suicide as their only option to ease their internal pain.
If you lost a loved one to suicide as a result of VA neglect, please tell us your story. Our team has experienced this type of loss and understands the pain, anger, and need for answers that many family members are left with. We will leave no stone unturned and will fight to get the answers to what went wrong and ensure that this gross act of negligence doesn't happen again.
Learn how our medical malpractice attorney helps veterans throughout the United States
Bertling Law Group assists active military and veterans who are injured at VA facilities. Contact our military injuries lawyer at 844-295-7558 for a free consultation. We represent you on a contingency basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we collect compensation on your case, so you take no risks to pursue your rights to coverage from the negligent doctor or hospital.