My father has been treating at the VA in Loma Linda,Ca. His fingers were infected and turning black. The Dr. Kept insisting that he let it die and mummify. After months of waiting and going more that a month in between visits, they finally admitted him. The Dr. Removed a couple of fingers yesterday and now tomorrow there removing his hand because it is too infected to save. Is this grounds for a lawsuit?
Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
It is impossible to form an opinion whether there was malpractice without more detailed information that you could provide in an Avvo question. Your father should seek the advice of an attorney experienced both in medical malpractice and in Federal Tort Claim Act cases. It is generally very easy and free for veterans to get their medical records, and the VA generally makes an honest attempt to resolve claims, unlike private insurers. Your father or your lawyers have two years from the date of the injury to file a Form 95 with the VA. The Form 95 must state a specific claim in dollars and cents and that amount claimed will serve as a limit to what you can sue for if the VA doesn't adjust the claim administratively . Attorneys fees that can be charged in an FTCA case are strictly limited to 20% if resolved in claim and 25% if resolved in suit. If the attorney tries to get you to sign a retainer with a higher fee than that, he or she probably has never handled an FTCA case before and should be avoided.
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It's entirely possible. You're describing a form of necrosis resulting from gangrene.
You need to get your dad's medical records and bring them to a lawyer experienced in federal tort claims act cases. That lawyer will have the records reviewed by a competent physician, who will render an affidavit. That becomes part of the form filed with the VA. If the case cannot be settled without suit, the lawyer will file the case in federal court where it will be tried by a judge sitting without a jury. The case would have to be handled by an attorney in California, probably in the same city where the district court with jurisdiction sits. Good luck!
I think you absolutely need to consult with a med mal attorney. I am litigating a case right now in which a hospital waited too long to treat a limb (a leg) and the leg ended up dying, requiring amputation. It is very possible that the physicians failed to treat him quickly, and if it was due to some improper grounds, such as the nature of his insurance, his age, etc., the claim could be stronger.
The law limits the time you have to bring claims, so I would caution you to act promptly. Whatever you do, don't find a lawyer out of a phone book. There are plenty of good lawyers on this site, and others. Research them, talk to them on the phone, and go with whoever you feel most comfortable with. If I can be of help, feel free to give me a call or email - my firm handles med mal actions. The right lawyer will be able to give you an overview of your options.
Take care, and I am very sorry this has happened to your poor dad. It is hard to see loved ones suffer.
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