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The VA named in medical malpractice suit by injured veteran

California veterans who have been deployed likely understand the devastating toll that a war zone can have on a person's physical and emotional well-being. Many of these veterans require specialized care upon returning home and re-entering the civilian world, but the VA might not be meeting those needs. In a medical malpractice suit filed by an army major, the VA is accused of acting negligently with his medical care.

The veteran spent time deployed overseas, during which he was injured after a nearby car bomb detonated. He struck his head, was knocked unconscious and was apparently bleeding when he came to. He now experiences ongoing memory loss and chronic headaches and has trouble sleeping. These troubling symptoms were noted by his primary doctor who became worried that he might have suffered a brain injury, and he referred him to be examined by a specialist at the VA.

After following up with his doctor's referral, the man was examined and given a clean bill of physical health. Unsatisfied with this diagnosis, he sought a second opinion from a neurosurgeon and discovered that he had indeed suffered traumatic brain injury, or TBI. It was not until afterward that veteran learned that his examination at the VA had not just rendered an incorrect diagnosis but had been conducted by an intern who was unqualified to do so. The VA's policy only allows four different specialists to diagnose brain injuries, and it recently notified tens of thousands of veterans that their examinations were performed by an unqualified professional.

Brain injuries are serious matters that require specialized care and treatment. Any delay in diagnosis can be devastating for victims who continue to suffer the symptoms of TBI. California patients who have been misdiagnosed due to a medical facility's negligence can take the same action as this veteran. Successfully settling a medical malpractice claim can not only achieve just compensation for victims, it can also help implement new policies that protect patients in the future.

Source: kdsk.com, "Vet sues VA, claims interns made medical decisions", Mike Rush, Aug. 16, 2016

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