Trust After Trauma

After a physical injury we turn to our trusted physicians for assurances, treatment, and diagnoses. In a time of need patients rely on the care and tests applied by their medical providers. This reliance has only increased over the years as medicine becomes more specialized and treatment becomes more technical. Proper medical attention can result in prevention of a worsening injury and the end of a patient’s pain. For those who have served our country the government provides medical treatment options through the Veterans Administration.

For veterans, appropriate medical care after physically demanding deployments is often of utmost importance to their individual futures. Unfortunately, a series of investigations have recently revealed that many of our nation’s veterans may be receiving substandard attention when it comes to their health care.


Butch Hamersma served the United States in Vietnam. During November of 1968, his medical records indicate an explosion partially shattered his skull. Today he is a patient of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and operates a farm near Spring Valley. He was also denied traumatic brain injury benefits after an exam performed at his doctor’s office at the VA. As it turned out, the exam Hamersma received to determine his eligibility for benefits was performed by a nurse practitioner. In accordance with the VA’s own policies traumatic brain injury exams are to be performed by specialists (neurologists or the like), not nurse practitioners.


Hamersma’s story was shared by KARE-TV and an investigation commenced. Democratic Representative Tim Walz is now pushing for a nationwide investigation into the VA to determine exactly how many veterans have received exams by unqualified personnel. Moreover, the investigation seeks to discover how many of these veterans were denied benefits as a result of an unqualified examiner. According to Minneapolis VA Health Care Systems Director Patrick Kelly, “It’s true that we used the wrong type of examiner on some initial TBI exams from 2010-2014.” Representative Walz, who sits on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee has alleged that as many as 300 veterans have been affected by these improper evaluations. “I want to know that every veteran that went in to do a C & P exam and specifically being screened for TBI saw a qualified medical professional,” Walz asserted.


If you find yourself dealing with an injury caused by the negligence of another, contact the personal injury attorneys at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Offices today. We stand ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 507-200-8959.

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