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2015 most expensive year for Veteran's Administration malpractice

Many people would be shocked to learn that the Veteran's Administration has paid out $871 million in medical malpractice settlements in the last 10 years. What is even more shocking, though, is that in many of the cases, the employee responsible for the malpractice incident kept his or her job.

Since 2006, the VA has settled 4,353 malpractice cases. The average award has been $200,000. There has been a huge jump in the number of cases, too. In 2006, there were 322. Last year, there were 541. By settling these cases, the VA doesn't have to admit wrongdoing. A spokesman for the VA said that tort litigation matters may be settled for many reasons -- even if an investigation into the incident finds that the VA was "not culpable."

A Heritage Foundation federal courts expert said, "The government uses settlements to manage their public image. I think that's obvious, but it's routine practice. The perennial frustration is they can settle and then you're not going to get something on the books." In addition, if the cases did go to trial, the man said that the VA would be out much more than a billion dollars.

The man also wanted to know how many employees are disciplined or fired for the cases that were settled. It turns out that the settlements VA pays out are not paid out of its money. The Department of Treasury pays for settlements out of a "judgment fund."

Medical malpractice cases are often complex and require a great deal of time to prepare. A settlement offer may seem like a good idea to many people; however, their attorneys may feel as though there is a lot more money possible if the case goes to trial. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you along each step of the way.

Source: The Daily Caller, "VA Paid $871M In Medical Malpractice Deals In Past Decade," Luke Rosiak, Dec. 17, 2015

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