When a child is the victim of medical malpractice

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When a child is the victim of medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Malpractice can severely disable a tiny, vulnerable infant or toddler. They could be disabled the rest of their life, potentially robbing them of the chance to graduate college, pursue a career and start their own family. Tragedies like this happen all the time in Houston, and parents must find a way to afford round-the-clock care, wheelchairs and other expensive services and equipment. But when a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist or other medical professional is responsible, they or their employer may be liable under Texas’ medical malpractice law.

Age is a factor in malpractice damages

Anyone who has been harmed by malpractice is entitled to financial relief. But age is a big factor in determining how much the plaintiff is entitled to. Because they face more years of disability and lack of income, a jury will generally award more to a young child than they would a senior citizen. For example, the jury in a malpractice case outside of Texas recently ordered a hospital to pay $26.1 million to the family of a 5-year-old girl for mishandling her care when she was an infant and allowing her to become severely disabled as a result.

Discharged from the hospital too soon

In 2017, the girl was taken to the hospital’s emergency department after falling and hitting her head at daycare, triggering a seizure. An ER doctor assigned to her took good care of the girl, but then another doctor took over her case. The second doctor told the girl’s parents that the seizure was a one-time event and discharged her from the hospital.

Within 48 hours, the girl began suffering severe seizures, which caused permanent brain damage. She is currently blind, unable to communicate and dependent on a wheelchair. During the trial, her parents’ attorney argued that the second ER doctor’s decision to send the girl home instead of investigating her brain injury further led to her current condition. The jury agreed.

Nothing in medical malpractice law is more heartbreaking than when the victim is a child. But malpractice is never acceptable, no matter the victim’s age.

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