Brain injury lawsuits take many forms. In most traumatic brain injury situations-such as those caused in falls or car accidents-lawsuits name other car drivers or property owners as defendants. The defendant is the one who acted unreasonably in any given situation. In other brain injury cases, perhaps less often, medical professionals, hospitals, and clinics are named as defendants. These are types of medical malpractice cases where the plaintiff is arguing that their brain injury was caused (or made worse) by inadequate care being provided by those who were charged with helping them to recover.
This week, for example, Mercury News reported on the end of a medical malpractice trial involving a woman who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a series of misguided decisions by her medical caregivers. The plaintiff in this case first visited a medical foundation complaining of migraines. Her doctors at the foundation told her that she needed to have an angiogram performed. An angiogram is a brain test that uses dye inserted into veins in the brain to test the functionality of those veins. The medical professionals told the patient that an abnormal vein in her brain was likely the cause of her migraines.
Doing what any reasonable patient would do in the situation, the women heeded her doctors’ advice and had the procedure performed at a nearby hospital. The medical foundation which ordered the test lacked the resources to perform the procedure themselves.
Sadly, the angiogram did not go well. When the dye was inserted into the woman’s veins, she suffered a stroke that threw her into a coma. She stayed in the coma for two weeks. When she finally awoke she discovered that she had lost all function in her arms and legs.
It was soon learned that the angiogram itself had been completely unnecessary. The abnormal vein had nothing to do with the migraines that the woman had complained about. Even worse, the evidence suggested that the doctors who ordered the test should have known that the angiogram was unnecessary. Their mistake in ordering the unnecessary test, therefore, caused the harm that befall the woman.
The woman eventually filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. In arguing the case, the patient’s attorney explained that the medical foundation’s ordering of an unnecessary and risky test was a clear cause of the woman becoming a quadriplegic. The jury agreed, and awarded the woman $22 million. The significant sum was reached in large part because the plaintiff now requires around-the-clock care and will need it for the rest of her life. However, a large part of the award will be cut because of arbitrary damage caps in the state.
If you have suffered brain injury in any form in our area and suspect that this might have been caused by the misconduct of others, please consider contacting our Chicago brain injury lawyers to learn more. We have vast experience in these cases and can explain how the law might apply in your specific situation. There is nothing to lose, so please reach out today.
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