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Worcester Personal Injury Law Blog

Brain injuries can lead to lifelong health care needs

Nothing can be more distressing to a Massachusetts family than a severe injury sustained by a child. When such an event occurs, the family is immediately thrown from the normal course of their lives and into a chaotic, stressful and terrifying situation in which a wide range of decisions must be made. In cases in which a child has suffered a brain injury at the hands of medical professionals, there may be legal matters to consider, in addition to the immediate medical needs.

In many cases, brain-injured individuals require extensive and lifelong care. The cost of such care can be incredibly expensive, and outside of the reach of that many families in the Worcester area. In cases in which a brain injury is the direct result of medical malpractice, a lawsuit may be a way for the family to ensure that their child's needs are adequately met, both now and in the future.

An example lies in a recent settlement offer involving a case in which a young child was left in a hospital's surgical recovery area without intervention for five minutes after his heart stopped beating. The toddler had undergone surgery to address a relatively minor medical issue prior to the event. He was revived, but went without oxygen for as many as 15 minutes. As a result, he sustained severe and irreversible brain damage.

The municipality in charge of the hospital recently approved a settlement in the case totaling $20 million. It is unclear if the family involved will be accepting the offer. However, the willingness of the commissioners to approve what is reportedly the largest settlement in the county's history may give Massachusetts parents in similar circumstances a degree of hope that they can obtain compensation to help their child.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "$20 million settlement in Stroger Hospital surgery case," John Byrne, Feb. 5, 2013

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