Lifelong consequences of injuries
Catastrophic life altering injuries may arise from vehicle, train, watercraft or airplane crashes, equipment or product malfunction, gas pipe or flammable liquid explosions, work accidents, or medical malpractice. Such injuries may result in amputations of limbs and fingers, spinal cord fractures (with following partial paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia - a partial or total loss of sensation and mobility in all limbs), internal organ and traumatic brain damage, and other consequences where no recovery will occur for the rest of the victims’ lives.
When the treating physicians opine that the injuries cannot be cured so the victim of wrongdoer’s negligence will suffer for the rest of his or her life, then compensation for damages significantly expands and correlates to the person’s life expectancy identified in the U.S. Life Tables published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Life care planners calculate future costs of treatment and personal care after reviewing all reports and opinions of health care professionals. The following summary illustrates causes and consequences of catastrophic injuries resulting in their permanency and lifelong treatment.
Severe burns may originate from:
Fires from vehicle, watercraft or airplane crashes or rollovers
Engine fires aboard boats, trains, and airplanes.
Construction explosions by flammable liquids and chemicals, cigarette smoking, space heaters, water heaters, boiling liquids
Defective consumer products, electrical equipment
Fire, heat, radiation, chemicals, or electricity
Chemical, electrical, and thermal burns scald and burn flesh of face, body, eyes and damage the skin, nerves, muscle, fat, and bones. Deep burns cause shock, respiratory problems, infections, horrific pain, blisters, swelling, loss of skin and other injuries besides concomitant toxic fumes / gases inhalation. Permanent raised scars from burns, skin contractures, loss of a limb, limping and other changes in appearance constitute a disfigurement, which is a separate compensable damage element. Besides physical pain and discomfort, severe burns result in: Depression, embarrassment, anxiety (irritability, disturbing wound memories, difficulty in falling and staying asleep), dependence on other people for assistance, hopelessness, helplessness, grief about changes in social functioning, lifestyle and physical abilities, intimate relationships challenges, lifelong rehabilitation therapies and medical treatment, and loss of occupation, independence, property and earnings.
Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional (OB/GYN physician, hospital, nurse, etc.) deviates from the applicable standard of care. This deviation or negligence is determined by experts in the involved field. Negligent medical treatment provided during the pregnancy (prenatal care) could harm the fetus or the mother, or both, and cause brain injuries (such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders), fractured bones, or Erb's and Klumpke's palsy (damage to nerves that control the arms and hands). Obstetrician’s negligent acts or omissions:
In prenatal care, include the failure to diagnose the mother’s medical preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility (woman has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood), hypoglycemia, anemia, ectopic pregnancies, gestational diabetes, or disease contagious to the fetus (neonatal lupus or genital herpes), or fetus birth defects.
During childbirth, include the failure to anticipate birth complications (the umbilical cord entanglement, breech position, etc.), promptly perform a cesarean section or react to fetal distress signs or seizure during delivery, or to prevent an infant’s accidental fall to the floor.
Post-delivery failure to minimize maternal blood loss or to react to the baby's oxygen intake at all pertinent times.
In a wrongful birth claim, the parents blame the doctor of not warning them about their fetus's impending birth defects so they would have either avoided or ended the pregnancy, and failing to conduct genetic testing before the child was conceived, or ascertain mental or physical defects in the early stages of pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy and birth action is brought by parents who tried to avoid pregnancy via sterilization or abortion, which failed due to the negligent acts of the obstetrician or medical staff., the healthy child was born.
Medication errors occur when a doctor either prescribes a wrong medication, or prescribes a correct medication for a misdiagnosed condition or condition of another patient. The dosage errors take place when a doctor or physician assistant prescribes an incorrect dosage, or a nurse administers the incorrect amount, or drug-administering equipment malfunctions and dispenses too much of a drug to a patient, or a nurse allowed an unsupervised visitor to regulate the drug-dispensing equipment.
Electrocution (a fatal outcome) or an electrical shock precipitated by lightning, accidental contact with exposed high-voltage power lines, electrical wiring, electrical control panels, transformers, circuit breakers, junction boxes, uninsulated electrical outlets, cause electrical trauma, which could be deadly or lead to cardiac arrest, thermal burns, brain damage, muscle destruction, ligament avulsion, nerve damage, neurocognitive malfunction, vertebral or other fractures, renal failure, and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Falls may occur at the construction site, on building stairs, in public transport vehicles, stores, nursing homes, or be precipitated by unleashed dog attacks, push by moving vehicles, a collapsed ladder, a fallen object or vehicle knocking down a pedestrian or bicyclist. These brutal events cause crushing injuries and in many cases death, spinal and bone fractures, and traumatic brain injuries having a delayed manifestation of sequelae of neurological disorders, shorten life span, and permanent disability.
Permanent disability necessitates a lifelong treatment, rehabilitation, social, occupational and physical therapies, financial support, caregiver assistance, loss of independence and self-esteem. All of this disastrous outcome usually emanates from an instantaneous injurious event, which dramatically changed the life of the injured person and his or her family. In most cases, this event could have been predicted and prevented were it not for someone’s negligence.
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