Traumatic Brain Injuries and Medical Malpractice
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are more common than most people believe. Sometimes, sadly, they are even incurred from the people who are supposed to treat them. Medical malpractice is not the main cause of TBIs, but medical professionals can and do cause them. When that happens, they must be held accountable.Adult TBIs
There are multiple causes of traumatic brain injury in adults, though, more often than not, they are the result of blunt trauma. The highest percentage of TBIs generally are sustained in falls, which is why TBIs tend to be over-represented in very young children and the elderly, who are most prone to falling. Other common causes include auto accidents and assault (or other violent crimes).
In a medical setting, brain injuries are most often caused by hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation. If a doctor or other medical professional is not careful, hypoxia can occur due to a number of conditions, including anesthesia and medication errors, improper intubation and simple negligence. Not every medical error is grounds to allege malpractice - sometimes injuries to patients are not foreseeable - but if you can show that the doctor did not apply an adequate level of skill, experience, and talent, it carries a strong presumption of negligence under California law.TBIs in Newborns
The other period in life where TBIs occur more often is during labor and delivery, which is the most common yet one of the most dangerous operations in which a doctor can participate. Given the delicate nature of most deliveries, it is sadly easy for something to go wrong very quickly. The underlying cause is the same, but it is even easier for a newborn to experience hypoxia than it is for an adult because it can occur with either an injury to the newborn or to the mother.
Be advised that generally, holding a doctor liable for a TBI sustained by a newborn will be a slightly different matter than if the injured party were an adult, especially if the root cause is an injury to the mother. The standard of care is not always easy to define related to labor and delivery, at least partly because the situation can change so quickly - it takes mere seconds for an umbilical cord to become wrapped around a newborn’s neck, for example, or for a newborn’s shoulder to become lodged in the birth canal. By comparison, an injury to the mother may be sustained long before labor even begins, and as such, is generally held to be discoverable in that regard.Seek Experienced Assistance
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury due to a doctor’s negligence, you may have recourse. The dedicated San Jose medical malpractice lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. are happy to help answer your questions, and are able to suggest a variety of alternatives for you and your family to get life back on track. Contact us today via our website or at (408) 289-1417 to set up an appointment. We serve San Jose, the Bay Area, and the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey and Alameda.