Servicemembers can now find recourse for medical malpractice

Doctors and health care professionals are always there to help in our times of greatest need. The trust that we have in physicians makes it even harder in the rare event that the profession fails us and leaves us worse than we were before we were treated.

For most of the 20th century, members of the U.S. military did not even have the right to sue physicians employed by the military in the case of their failure to properly diagnose or treat an ailment or injury. A North Carolina soldier became ill after treatment for a battle injury and later learned that the Army’s health care institution had failed to find that he had cancer that had progressed so much that it was determined to be terminal.

Now, the victim has his name on a law that allows people like him to find some sort of recourse. Although active-duty military personnel can still not sue over medical malpractice, the Pentagon can now investigate and pay claims out of court. Congress authorized $400 million for the first year of this policy.

The soldier was one of the first to file a claim against the government under this new policy. He is seeking more than $5 million in damages.

People of all backgrounds have the right to fight against medical malpractice, especially if a lawsuit or settlement will help them get the medical help they need in a difficult time. An attorney can help victims of malpractice by identifying the people and organizations that should be held responsible for the harm done to a patient.

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