“Nothing is settled until it is settled right.”
United States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Brandeis: A Free Man’s Life
Accidents and the Aftermath of Comas
We try to prepare for the worst, but when accidents happen, the results can be devastating. When your loved one falls into coma, new trauma arises. With this turn of events, you face serious ethical, medical and legal considerations.
A coma is a deep state of unconsciousness, or a persistent vegetative state, in which a person cannot respond to stimuli. This condition is generally a result of an underlying illness or accident involving a brain injury. A person in a coma retains breathing and circulatory functioning, so hospital personnel must care for the patient to maintain a healthy body and to prevent infection, pneumonia, bed sores and the like. Costs for this type of medical care can rise fast.
Comas resulting from brain injuries are delicate situations. It is important to know the current medical state, how likely it is that the patient will recover and, once recovered, how the injuries will affect mental and physical functioning. Cognitive functioning outcomes are largely determined by the medical industry using the Glasgow Coma Scale and the Rancho Los Amigos Scale.
Watching your loved one in this state is difficult enough, but trying to understand and sift through such important medical processes takes things to a whole new level. You must find legal guidance in order to better maneuver through the decisions you are being asked to make, as well as to learn more about your rights so you may recover damages that will help you manage the high costs of medical care and future losses.
Finding a legal representative who understands the legal and medical aspects of a situation involving a coma patient is vital to getting the financial compensation you will need now and possibly for a lifetime.
The Law Concerning Comas
Bringing a lawsuit when your loved one falls into a coma after an accident is usually a tort suit based in negligence. The person responsible that caused the accident that resulted in the injury and coma should be held financially responsible for the results. The statute of limitations, which is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for the wrong committed, is two years from the date of injury or accident.
Money Damages from Comas
Recovery of money can include present and future medical bills, and depending on the facts of the situation, property damages, mental pain and suffering damages, lost past and future wages, permanent impairment/disfigurement, punitive damages, and loss of enjoyment of life.