Vegetative State from Medical Malpractice: When Your Doctor is to Blame
Surgical errors, use of defective medical parts, and misdiagnosis are all common types of medical malpractice that can lead to patient injury. While the injuries that often result from these types of misconduct can be severe, there is nothing more serious—other than death—than a patient being put in a permanent vegetative state from medical malpractice.
Types of Malpractice Resulting in Permanent Vegetative State
A persistent or permanent vegetative state, also known as a persistent coma, results when the brain is harmed. When a person is in a persistent vegetative state, their brain has been significantly damaged, often to the point where they will never regain consciousness.
This injury to the brain can be caused by medical errors such as the following.
- Anesthesia errors
- Overmedication errors
- Medical errors causing cardiac arrest
- Oxygen deprivation during surgery
- Surgical errors
While a patient suffering a persistent coma as a result of a medical error is uncommon, it does happen.
In order to prove malpractice in a civil action, a plaintiff will have to demonstrate that the medical professional acted outside of the reasonable standard of care (did something negligent), and that this action was the direct cause of the patient’s harm (vegetative state).
Damages Available to Victim’s Family
When medical malpractice causes a severe injury, the victim’s family can pursue a medical malpractice claim for damages. Under Georgia Code Section 51-13-1, damages available include these.
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages or earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses (if harm results in death)
- The value of the loss of services
- Noneconomic damages
Georgia Code caps the amount of noneconomic damages recoverable in a medical malpractice action at $350,000; economic damages are recoverable in full.
Don’t Just Stand By, Hire a Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney
Georgia Code Section 9-3-71 limits the amount of time that a victim (or the victim’s representative) has to file a medical malpractice claim within two years. A claim that is filed after this two-year statute of limitations will most likely not be heard by a court, and, therefore, yield no damages.
Jason R. Schultz understands Georgia’s medical malpractice laws, how to prove negligence, and what you need to do to recover damages. For a free legal consultation to discuss your loved one’s permanent vegetative state and your loved one’s rights, call 404-474-0804 today.