Many medical conditions can lead to paralysis. However, it is an entirely different situation when a preventable mistake causes this cruel condition. Paralysis is the result of an injury to the central nervous system. It can lead to complete or partial inability to move extremities. It can also lead to irreversible or temporary organ dysfunction.
If you or someone you know is newly paralyzed or suffers paralysis after surgery, a medical malpractice paralysis injury attorney can help you. The law firm of Bennett and Heyman has an established practice dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims of medical injury in Baltimore, Maryland. They are skilled advocates and are known for an unwavering commitment to their clients. You may be able to receive reimbursement for medical expenses as well as compensation for the losses suffered after a negligent paralysis injury. They will fight relentlessly for your rights and help you pursue financial recovery for your damages. Call 410-429-7856 to schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Paralysis After Surgery
The life-altering consequences of sudden paralysis after surgery can be overwhelming. Treatments for severe side-effects and even expensive corrective surgery are usually needed. On top of that, painful rehabilitation and medical equipment needs can be physically and financially taxing. The prospect of costly long-term care casts a terrifying future. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the average yearly expenses of paralysis can range from $360,000 to $1.1 million during the first year and $44,000 to $190,000 in subsequent years.
Paralysis After Anesthesia
The application of anesthesia preceding surgery is probably the most critical step in a surgical procedure. Residual post-surgical paralysis from anesthesia is preventable. Physicians recommend the systematic use of neuromuscular monitoring and proper and timely administration of medications to reverse the nerve damage.
Paralysis can be caused during surgery when there are errors either near the brain or the spinal cord. The surgeon’s failure may cause permanent damage to the spine.
Recovering From Surgery
Recovery at times can be more critical than the surgical procedures. There are protocols physicians and medical teams must follow in the days following surgery. Hospitals regularly follow protocols to communicate and follow-up recovery indications before discharge. However, failure to comply with these protocols can be medical malpractice, mainly when it can result in severe conditions such as paralysis.
Living with Paralysis After Surgery
Paralysis reduces life quality and life expectancy. People living with this condition have households with lower incomes. Roughly 28% of households with a person who is paralyzed make less than $15,000 per year.
Also, the adjustment period of a newly paralyzed individual can be extremely rough. Rehabilitation can be harsh after a surgery. That, coupled with the shock of paralysis, can be devastating. Statistics show that 1 of 5 individuals who become newly paralyzed suffer severe depression.
Important Maryland Medical Malpractice Laws
Expert Certificate and Waiver Requirements
There are special prerequisites for the proper filing of medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland. Under the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (“Health Claims Act”) malpractice claims must be filed initially with the Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Office accompanied with a certificate of merit attested by a qualified expert. Both parties in Maryland are required to present a certificate where a qualified expert asserts that the doctor’s actions breached or met the standard of care. Under the Health Claims Act, an arbitration panel is the first forum where a malpractice claim must be filed. However, this option can be furloughed with timely notice of waiver of arbitration.
A medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland must be filed within five years from the date of the injury or three years from discovery of the injury.
Preponderance of Evidence Burden of Proof
There are fundamentals to keep in mind if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit in Maryland. The person who files the lawsuit or “plaintiff” has the “burden of proof.” The terms “burden of proof by preponderance of the evidence” are a fancy way to say: If you sue, bring your proof. The plaintiff must show the physician failed to employ a reasonable and competent standard of care. The goal is to establish that the cause of the harm is the physician’s alleged failure or breach. Subsequently, the sued party or “defendant” comes forward to challenge or respond to the evidence that the plaintiff introduces.
Preponderance of Evidence is a legal term that means evidence and witness testimony presented show a greater than 50 percent likelihood that the negligent physician’s failure or incompetence caused the damage. Maryland requires healthcare providers to exercise the degree of care and skill reasonably competent and accepted to other members of the profession.
Expert testimony is typically obligatory in medical malpractice cases. The expert educates the court about the “level of care.” In Maryland, the level of care must be reasonably competent and acceptable to other members of the profession. The expert is considered qualified to explain if there is negligence. Since Maryland law doesn’t require optimal care, the expert who testifies generally describes what actions caused the harm and what reasonable and competent precautions could have prevented the injury. With that information, if the case comes to trial, the jury is instructed to reach conclusions with a reasonable degree of probability. Experts must have training, qualifications, and practical experience. However, in the case of paralysis, the case of Schneider v. Little noted that the expert doesn’t have to be a surgeon. An expert on paralysis can be someone with extensive experience in the prevention of spinal cord injury and had taught resident physicians about how blood flow and oxygen delivery impact the spinal cord.
Call Our Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Paralysis After Surgery
Bennett and Heyman, P.A., is a Baltimore, Maryland law firm with attorneys experienced in complicated medical malpractice cases. Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated and will fight for your rights. The inexcusable negligence of a physician is unacceptable. Bennet and Heyman can help you seek financial compensation for the long-term detrimental health effects of paralysis. Call us for a free and private consultation before it’s too late.