Denver Brain Injury Attorneys
Brain injuries are among the most serious and life-altering injuries a person can suffer. They can leave you unable to work, unable to live independently, and unable to enjoy the hobbies you were once passionate about. When we seek help from a medical professional, we expect to walk out of the hospital healthier than when we went in or at least with a treatment plan to guide us on the path of recovery. However, these treatment plans can become riddled with errors. When your brain injury happened as a result of medical malpractice, then you deserve justice.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury at the hands of a medical professional, then you can take legal action. However, navigating the complexities of the court system in addition to the healthcare system can be daunting, which is why you need a top Denver medical malpractice attorney by your side. Call Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (303) 759-9945 for a free consultation. Tell us what happened, and we can discuss your options.
There are many ways that a brain injury can happen due to medical malpractice. The brain is a very sensitive organ. As seasoned medical malpractice attorneys, we have represented many clients who have suffered brain injuries because of the poor care they were given by a medical professional. Some of the more common causes of brain injuries, in our experience, are:
- Infections due to unclean conditions during surgery
- Anesthesia errors and mistakes
- Failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
These kinds of mistakes, slip-ups, and errors are life-changing, and even life-ending. A doctor has a responsibility to care for their patient to the best of their ability. If that responsibility is broken, then that doctor should be held accountable for their actions.
You would not think that brain injuries due to trauma, such as concussions, would be uncommon in a hospital setting. After all, a hospital is supposed to be a place of healing. However, preventable falls are a leading cause of medical malpractice claims in the United States. Many of these victims, often elderly, end up striking their heads and suffering traumatic brain injuries.
In addition, we often see the following brain injuries that are more common in healthcare facilities:
- Hypoxia: Hypoxia is a condition where the oxygen to your brain is restricted, leading to brain cell death within minutes. Hypoxia may be the result of a stroke, cardiac arrest, or an anesthesia error. In any surgery, the physical condition of the patient must be closely monitored, including breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate to protect the health of the patient and avoid the risk of hypoxia.
- Anoxia: Anoxia is a very serious condition in which all oxygen flow is cut off from the brain. Anoxia can result in the patient going into a coma, suffering permanent brain damage, or the loss of life due to the lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Penetration Injury: External objects entering the brain, including during surgery, can lead to permanent brain damage. The extent of the injury and the area of the brain accessed in the error affects the long-term health of the patient.
Severe injuries can cause sensory loss, including blindness and deafness, nerve issues that can make movement difficult and impair speech, changes in personality, inability to function on a day-to-day basis, and much more. Minor brain injuries can also result in confusion, loss of memories, and other issues.
It is not right when negligent healthcare providers harm patients, and justice must be served. Our top attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., take on these providers to ensure that victims receive just compensation for the rest of their lives, and that a mistake like this will never happen again.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by an impact to the head or strong back-and-forth motion in which the brain gets twisted or shaken around. Concussions are not considered life-threatening, but they can have serious effects on your life if they are left undiagnosed and untreated.
Concussions may or may not result in unconsciousness, and the symptoms can sometimes take a few days to appear – making this condition difficult to diagnose. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Headaches or a feeling of excessive pressure in your head
- Confusion and memory loss
- Ringing in your ears
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lowered reaction time
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Difficulty concentrating
A severe concussion can result in lifelong disability if not diagnosed and treated, resulting in a lifetime of headaches, behavioral changes, chronic irritability, lowered awareness and reaction time, and more. These kinds of injuries can have serious consequences and often leave you swimming in medical debt while also trying to navigate life with a debilitating injury. That is why filing a claim against the medical professional who caused your injuries may be your best chance to recover the damages you suffered. But a successful claim has certain requirements.
Exact liability is impossible to determine without a thorough understanding of your case. However, when it comes to issues of medical malpractice, the medical professional who treated you and the hospital they work for will likely be the ones held liable in a claim. Filing a successful claim against a doctor or nurse isn’t as easy as submitting some paperwork. There are many requirements for a successful claim. The Plaintiff must prove:
Duty of care: While everyone has a basic duty of care for each other, with a medical malpractice claim there needs to be a clear doctor-patient relationship. If that relationship isn’t there, then that duty of care is also considered absent.
Breach of the duty of care: Once that duty of care is established, you must show that it was breached. So, if you went to your doctor with a splitting headache that wouldn’t go away and your doctor neglected to run any tests and just told you to take some painkillers, resulting in a missed diagnosis of a brain tumor, then that doctor broke their duty of care to you.
Causation of injury: On top of having to show that your doctor broke their duty of care, you must also be able to prove that the breach caused the injury. In the example above, if your brain tumor progressed to the point that it left you with lifelong disabilities, those disabilities would count as an injury caused by a breach of the duty of care.
The injuries led to damage: Continuing the example, the emotional trauma, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost time at work that you had to deal with as a result of your delayed brain tumor diagnosis would count as damages caused by your injury. If you can prove all four requirements, then you may just have a successful medical malpractice claim on your hands.
An intracranial aneurysm is a weakness in a blood vessel in the brain that balloons and fills up with blood. If an aneurysm leaks or ruptures, it can cause bleeding. A ruptured aneurysm is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.
Before an aneurysm bursts, a patient might not be experiencing any symptoms. However, problems related to speech, vision, balance, memory, and concentration may be early signs. When the aneurism bursts, symptoms are more apparent, and it is likely that the patient will seek medical care. Signs that a patient may be experiencing a burst or leaking aneurysm include:
- Double vision
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Sensitivity to light
- Diluted pupils
- Pain above or behind the eyes
- Loss of sensation
A number of aneurysm symptoms can be mistaken for another type of injury such as a concussion, or the doctor might assume that the patient is just suffering from a bad headache. If the doctor fails to properly diagnose an aneurysm, the consequences can be severe, including brain damage, paralysis, coma, and death.
Recommended procedures for detecting an aneurysm include:
- Computerized Tomography (CT scan): This is a computer analysis of x-rays to generate enhanced pictures of the brain.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scan): This diagnostic tool uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the brain.
- Lumbar Puncture: In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the lower region of the spine to extract a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid is analyzed to produce evidence of bleeding in the brain.
Time is of the essence when a person is suffering an aneurysm. If a doctor brushes off the patient’s complaints and fails to consider all their symptoms, the results can be devastating. In many cases, a doctor will simply release the patient and prescribe prescription medication to treat their symptoms instead of delving further into the case to get an accurate diagnosis. When this happens, the doctor can be held liable for any damage that occurs after the doctor fails to take the necessary steps to make a proper diagnosis.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C, one of our clients was recently awarded $8.2 million dollars by a Kentucky court in a case involving an undiagnosed aneurysm. She was paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a stroke a week after being released being released from the hospital. Founding partner Jim Leventhal proved negligence on the part of the emergency room doctor for failing to perform a mandatory follow-up study of a CT scan that had been misread by the hospital.
After a patient suffers a brain injury in a healthcare setting, liability often comes down to who made an error, how it occurred, and why it occurred. Very rarely is just one individual wholly responsible for what happened. One of our medical malpractice cases involved a 4-day-old baby girl who was given the wrong dose of medication by a nurse and suffered cardiac arrest, leading to permanent brain damage, including cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. However, we proved that the hospital was also to blame for this shocking error, and the girl’s family received the largest medical malpractice verdict in the state of Colorado - $17.8 million.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., we have handled hundreds of medical malpractice claims across the United States, many involving brain injuries suffered by hospital patients. We know that after you have suffered a form of medical negligence, you are in shock. You find it hard to trust anyone. But we are here to help you. As attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis, we do not take any money from our clients until we get them compensation. Our clients and their families come first.
Call Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. for a no-cost initial consultation at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906.
- How Medical Malpractice Causes Brain Injuries
- Anoxia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More - Healthline
- Head Injuries - MedlinePlus