Our nation’s veterans put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. In an attempt to pay the enormous debt we owe these brave men and women, certain benefits are extended to these service members. Amongst them is care at VA hospitals. Though these veterans deserve the best medical care possible, sometimes that sadly is not the case. And the results can be tragic.

Take the case of one Vietnam veteran who recently won a $12 million medical malpractice lawsuit. In his situation, he went to a VA hospital to have an oral surgery, but doctors failed to prepare for and monitor the man’s existing heart condition. As a result, the man went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain damage. Though his award seems large, his worsened medical condition may be expensive to care for adequately, especially considering the long-term effects of his injuries.

Sadly, situations like this arise more often than they should. As evidenced by this case, those who are harmed by medical negligence may have a long road to recovery, and others suffer injuries that are irreparable. When this happens, a victim should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in effort to recover damages.

A lawyer may be a powerful ally in the attempt to recover compensation by drawing up strong legal arguments supported by available evidence. By using physical evidence such as medical reports in addition to witness testimony, an attorney will try to convince a jury that negligence occurred which, in turn, caused the victim’s injuries. Sometimes these arguments will convince a defendant to negotiate a settlement, thereby avoiding litigation.

Those who care for our country should be taken care of by their country. When that care comes in the form of errant medical practices, those who cause harm should be held responsible.

Source: CBS Chicago, “Vietnam Vet Wins $12 Million Malpractice Settlement From VA Hospital,” Dec. 3, 2013