When it comes to errors in surgical procedures and medical treatments in civilian hospitals, patients are able to file medical malpractice lawsuits in order to seek compensation. For such errors in a VA hospital, patients may seek compensation by filing what is called a Section 1151 claim. To do this, you will need to prove several things that can only be done with the help of a properly-worded document called a VA nexus letter. Here's a basic introduction to what this all means.
What is Section 1151?
Section 1151 is a statute that entitles veterans who can prove that they suffered an unforeseeable injury or disease while getting care at a VA facility or while partaking in a VA work therapy program. Essentially, this statute means that these veterans can then be determined as having a service-connected disability, if they can prove that they became injured or diseased due to malpractice at a VA medical facility or while in a VA program.
Having a service-connected disability will then entitle the veteran to apply for VA disability and other VA programs. With a VA disability, a veteran will then be given monthly disability payments. These payments are based on time in service and the disability rating they are given by the VA after a thorough evaluation.
What Needs to Be Proven?
In order to be able to get a VA disability rating for a service-connected disability as a result of a Section 1151 claim, the veteran will need to prove the following:
- They have a medical diagnosis
- They experienced a service-connected injury or disease that caused the medical diagnosis
- The injury or disease can be connected to their medical diagnosis
For veterans attempting to get VA disability through filing a Section 1151 claim, they first need to prove that their injury or illness was the result of their care while in a VA facility or program and that the injury or illness was an unforeseeable and unknown risk. This information is all documented in a VA nexus letter.
What Is a VA Nexus Letter?
A VA nexus letter is a document that is provided by a third-party, unbiased medical doctor or medical examiner after evaluating the veteran and their medical records to determine whether or not their illness or injury is service-connected. The wording has to be very precise in how the document states that the veteran's injury or illness is more than likely to have been caused by their service. For Section 1151 purposes, their service includes their time while under the care of a VA facility or program.
For more information, turn to a service such as The Best Nexus Letters.