Medical negligence is the most common reason injured patients file lawsuits against doctors. Patients who suffer traumatic brain injury and do not receive timely and proper treatment may experience less than optimal recovery because of a doctor’s failure to act. If the attending physician is negligent or irresponsible, the patient may suffer permanent and long-lasting deficits.
Types of traumatic brain injuries include diffuse axonal injury in which there is a strong shaking or rotating of the head and can produce brain damage, coma and death. A concussion can result from a sharp, strong blow to the head or violent shaking. Concussions may heal within months or they may take years. Contusions are bleeding bruises within the brain. They require surgery for removal. Penetration injuries involve a breach of the skull’s bone and are usually caused by firearms.
Acquired Brain Injury
Acquired brain injuries stem from problems during childbirth. They typically happen when infants brains do not receive oxygen (anoxic brain injury), or not enough oxygen (hypoxic brain injury). They can occur because of fetal distress such as the umbilical cord becoming knotted or twisted around the baby’s neck. They may also stem from maternal distress where the placenta ruptures causing excessive bleeding. Acquired brain injuries can sometimes result when a doctor delivers medications incorrectly or delivers a breech baby without using the proper procedures.
Damages for Injury
When brain injuries occur, patients and their families have a right to make a claim for the damages that commonly result. The medical bills that stem from the injury will be part of those damages. Lost wages often become part of brain injury lawsuits because injured parties often lose extensive time from work during rehabilitation. The injured person and immediate relatives can claim pain and suffering. Spouses may claim loss of companionship while the partner was healing, incapacitated or disabled. Brain injuries often result in permanent disabilities.
Damages for Fatalities
If the attending physician makes a fatal mistake resulting in a patient’s death, the family members can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Courts award compensation for the lost wages that the patient would have made in his or her lifetime if he or she had lived. Medical bills and funeral expenses will be part of the lawsuit as well. Family members may also claim compensation for the emotional loss of the family member or loved one.
Punitive damages are not legal in every state. In jurisdictions that allow punitive damages, the attorney must prove that the doctor was extremely negligent and reckless. Punitive damages work to punish the wrongdoer to help prevent future injuries to other innocent people.
If you or someone you love is thinking about filing a traumatic brain injury lawsuit, contact our attorneys. We have the knowledge and experience to help you clearly understand your rights. Our free consultation will help you decide if you should file the lawsuit or not.