Brain injuries can temporarily or permanently affect a person’s brain function and can range from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), some of which may result in death. Difficulties with cognition and memory in addition to serious physical disabilities can have devastating consequences on an injured person’s lifestyle, career, family, and hopes for the future. Defective and dangerous products, workplace and other accidents caused by someone’s negligence or other wrongdoing, birth injuries, and medical-malpractice are among the many occurrences that can lead to these heart-breaking injuries.
Direct-contact brain injuries may be caused by, among other things, blunt-force trauma inflicted by another, falls, being struck on the head by moving objects, or traffic accidents. “Shaking” injuries, which involve the shaking of a victim’s head with such force that the brain comes into contact with the skull, may result from the same sorts of occurrences. So-called “shaken baby syndrome” is just such an injury and is among the many types of brain injuries that can prove to be fatal.
Brain injuries may also be caused by electric shock or by asphyxiation. Asphyxiation (the cutting off of oxygen to the brain) can result from fatal or non-fatal drowning, toxic gases, strangulation, choking, or injuries (such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)) sustained during childbirth.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a brain injury that you suspect was caused by someone’s negligence, medical malpractice, or a defective product, you may be entitled to financial damages from the responsible parties. The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania brain-injury attorneys have extensive experience with brain-injury cases, including those arising out of accidents caused by negligence or defective products. Contact The Killino Firm at 877-875-2927 for a no-cost assessment of your case and additional information about your legal options.
Liability for Brain Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice or Negligence
Medical malpractice can result in brain injuries to patients in a number of ways. Doctors and other medical practitioners who assist in the birth of a child, for example, may cause brain injury to a newborn through negligent management of certain conditions or complications (such as nuchal cord—the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck), failure to properly monitor vital signs of mother and/or fetus, ill-advised vaginal delivery, and other instances of inadequate care. A patient undergoing surgery may sustain a preventable brain injury if an anesthesia error interferes with the patient’s oxygen intake.
When hospitals, clinics, doctors, and other medical personnel cause patients’ brain injuries through their own negligence or medical malpractice, these entities and individuals may be held directly liable in personal-injury or wrongful-death medical-malpractice actions for resultant damages suffered by injured patients or deceased patients’ survivors. If a medical professional whose negligence is found to have caused a patient’s injury was employed by a clinic, hospital, or other entity and was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time the negligence occurred, the employer may also be found liable (indirectly) for the injuries caused by its employee’s negligence.
Liability for Brain Injuries Caused by Other Negligence
Many types of negligence in addition to medical malpractice may result in brain injuries that could have been prevented and for which the responsible parties may be held legally accountable. A driver whose negligence is found to have been a cause of a traffic accident and a victim’s consequent brain injury may be ordered to pay damages to the victim in a negligence personal-injury action. Falls and other accidents that are found to result from negligent maintenance of business premises, for example, can lead to a business owner’s or operator’s liability for brain injuries sustained by business patrons while on the premises. Brain injuries sustained by children in non-fatal drowning accidents on someone’s land may result in the landowner’s liability for damages suffered by the child if the owner’s negligent failure to erect protective fencing around a pool or other body of water is found to have been a cause of the child’s drowning accident.
Individuals or entities entrusted with someone’s care may also be found liable for brain injuries determined to have been caused by negligent care. A person entrusted to another’s care who sustains a brain injury in a fall or other accident due to inadequate supervision, for example, may be held entitled to damages from the responsible individual or entity.
Liability for Brain Injuries Caused by Defective Products
The use of or exposure to dangerous and defective products is another frequent cause of preventable brain injuries in children and adults. Defective toys, children’s products, household furniture, appliances, motor vehicles, medical instruments, medical equipment, and a great many other products have been found responsible for brain injuries sustained by people who have used or have been exposed to these products. Toys, for example, have often been discovered to cause asphyxiation brain injuries to children who swallow or choke on toys’ small parts. Children’s clothing with unsafe drawstrings may cause strangulation brain injuries to young children. Children’s products as seemingly innocuous as a bean-bag chair, a crib mattress, or a highchair can suffocate or strangle a child if designed or manufactured defectively.
Cars and other motor vehicles with defects that cause traffic accidents may also cause brain injuries to accident victims that would not have occurred in the absence of the vehicle defect. Defective medical equipment used in surgery or intensive-care units may lead to the brain injuries of patients deprived of needed oxygen.
When brain injuries are caused by these and other defective products, product manufacturers and others in the chain of defective products’ production and distribution may be held strictly liable (i.e., without proof of negligence on the part of any of the defendants) under Pennsylvania law for brain injuries determined to have been caused by product defects. The types of defects that may result in such liability are limited to defects in products’ design, manufacture, or warnings that existed at the time the product was sold as well as when the injury-causing accident occurred.
If you or a family member has sustained a brain injury and you have reason to believe the injury was caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product, The Killino Firm’s Pennsylvania brain-injury attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve from the responsible parties. Contact us at 877-875-2927 for expert and experienced assistance with your brain-injury case.