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New York Brain Injury Lawyers Call For More Support For The Hundreds of Thousands Of Veterans Living With TBI

Michael V. Kaplen

Michael V. Kaplen

Shana De Caro

Shana De Caro

A traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime and our returning service members must be afforded proper accommodations, care, and treatment when a brain injury happens.”
— Michael V. Kaplen
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA, November 10, 2021 / -- On Veterans Day, the New York brain injury law firm, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, have called for more support for the hundreds of thousands of American Veterans living with the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury.

CDC figures reveal that over 430,000 U.S. service members were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2000 and 2020. But according to De Caro and Kaplen, the actual number of service men and women who sustained a TBI during service may be much higher.

Michael V. Kaplen, a partner in the firm and three-term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, said “The CDC numbers fail to account for the many more service members who were not diagnosed, because their injury was not properly recognized during combat, when they returned to their base, or because a service member minimized or hid his or her symptoms. This is similar to statistics for TBI in the overall population. Due to the ‘invisible’ nature of TBI — where symptoms may be unrecognizable to an outside observer — many brain injuries remain undiagnosed, and untreated.”

According to Shana De Caro, a partner in the firm, and Chairwoman of the Brain Injury Association of America, missed diagnosis, and the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of TBI can lead to some service members facing less than honorable discharge, preventing them from receiving future benefits, “The cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms and issues caused by their traumatic brain injury can lead to a less than honorable discharge or a “bad-paper” discharge which prevents veterans from getting federal and state veterans benefits including health care and GI Bill benefits.”

And De Caro says an Act put in place to assist Veterans who find themselves in this situation is leading to a review process which is both slow and cumbersome, “The National Defense Authorization Act requires discharge review boards to give ‘liberal’ consideration for upgrades to veterans who could show they had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) while in uniform. But, despite the law, the process is cumbersome and subject to lengthy delays. More attention must be given and veterans must be offered the assistance they need to contest these wrongful discharges.”

The partners conclude by calling for more support for service members and veterans who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, and for greater education on the lifetime effects of TBI for all service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers, “Educational programs and the latest TBI information must be provided to all service members, veterans, families, and caregivers and TBI outreach must take place in all VA facilities. A traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime and our returning service members must be afforded proper accommodations, care, and treatment when a brain injury happens.”

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans — individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

De Caro & Kaplen, LLP is a New York based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm which focuses its practice in representing survivors of traumatic brain injury.

Michael V. Kaplen
De Caro & Kaplen, LLP
(914) 747 4410
email us here

Brain Injury Insider: Veterans Day 2021