After a six-week trial, a jury determined that a 16-year-old girl should be awarded $17 million for the brain damage that her parents alleged happened when a doctor made a terrible mistake.
Doctor Removed Ventilator Too Early
Nine years ago, when the plaintiff was only seven years old, her parents took her to the emergency room where doctors determined that she was suffering from severe pneumonia. Unfortunately, the illness had progressed to the point where a portion of her lung was damaged and needed to be removed. Due to the serious nature of her condition, after surgeons removed the damaged portion of the lung, she was kept sedated so that she could heal and rest. While under heavy sedation, patients are put on a ventilator because they are unable to regulate their airway.
Ten days after her surgery, a pediatric pulmonologist decided it was time to remove the ventilator but made a crucial mistake – he didn’t properly wean her off of the sedation first. Shortly after the ventilator was removed, she stopped breathing and her heart stopped.
The medical staff performed life-saving measures and were able to bring her back, however, she was completely unresponsive for 35 minutes. During this time, her brain was deprived of oxygen and she sustained damage to her thalamus.
How A Damaged Thalamus Changes Life
Today, the teenager struggles to perform everyday tasks.
The damage to her brain means that she has difficulty in processing new information and learning new skills. So while she is able to go to school, she has to work at last twice as hard to accomplish the basic things her peers are able to do without thinking.
The reality is that in addition to the years of medical care and therapy that she was already undergone, she will continue to need assistance for the rest of her life. This is why she and her parents chose to pursue legal action so that she could obtain the compensation she needs to live a full and independent life in the future.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Cost Millions To Treat
This plaintiff isn’t alone. Throughout the state of New York, hundreds of people are diagnosed with brain damage each year, caused by:
- medical malpractice
- birth injury
- car accidents
- boating accidents
- slip & fall accidents
- construction accidents
To treat their injury, many patients require an average of $200,000 – $300,000 in medical treatments in just the first year. Over a lifetime, costs can reach millions of dollars.
Keep in mind that brain damage frequently prevents the victim from being able to work or enjoy activities that they previously enjoyed which means that in addition to changing their entire lifestyle, a regular source of income is missing. This is why so many accident victims choose to file a lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused their injury.
What Is Negligence?
According to the law, negligence occurs when one party fails to act in what would be considered a reasonable manner. For example, it is reasonable to expect that someone who is drunk would call an Uber or ask a sober friend to drive them home. It is not reasonable to expect that they would get behind the wheel of a car.
When negligence occurs, those who are hurt have the right to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their losses. Losses may be monetary like medical bills and lost wages or they can be non-monetary such as physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
Our Legal Team Can Help TBI Victims Recover
After a traumatic accident, it might seem like talking to a lawyer or filing a lawsuit might be too much stress to handle, but our law firm is here to shoulder the burden and make sure our clients get the compensation they need to move forward.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how we can help, contact our law firm now. Time is of the essence – in each case there is a statute of limitations that applies, meaning the victim only has a short period of time to file.