Devastating brain injuries are often followed by comas. While some comatose patients come out of comas within a matter of weeks, others remain in persistent states of unawareness. Even children who are lucky enough to emerge from comas may suffer injuries as a result of having been in a coma and require intensive physical and mental therapy for years to come.
If your child has been or is still in a coma as a result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. Contact child-coma personal injury attorney Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal options.
Comas in children have many causes. Traumatic head injuries—which may be sustained when children use inadequate or defective equipment during sporting activities, when children are negligently supervised on playgrounds, or when children are victims of physical abuse—often lead to comas and permanent injuries. Other causes of comas in children include the following:
- Lack of oxygen (caused by non-fatal drowning or strangulation)
- Drug overdose
- Brain infection
- Surgical error
The Pediatric Glasgow Coma Score (PGCS) is used to evaluate the severity of comas in children and differs somewhat from the scale used for adults. Three tests are employed to evaluate a child’s coma with the PGCS: verbal responses, motor responses, and eye responses.
Legal Liability for Child Coma Injuries
A child’s coma injury may result from medical malpractice, intentional acts, or someone’s negligence. If your child’s coma injury has resulted from any of these causes, you may be able to recover legal damages from the party or parties responsible for your child’s coma and any injuries suffered as a result of the coma.
Medical malpractice may result in a child’s coma and related injuries. Pediatric surgery, for example, if improperly performed, may result in a child’s coma. If your child went into a coma following pediatric surgery, you may be entitled to recover damages in a medical malpractice action against your child’s pediatric surgeon, attending and assisting nurses, anesthesiologists, and/or the hospital in which the surgery was performed. Liability on the part of any such defendant will depend upon a showing by the plaintiff that the negligence of a particular defendant was a cause of the child’s coma and resulting injuries.
- Liability of Hospitals and Other Employers of Negligent Healthcare Professionals
If the negligence of any individual such as those listed above results in a child’s coma and related injuries, the hospital or other entity that employs the individual responsible may be held vicariously liable for the child’s injuries even if the employer was not negligent in hiring the employee. If the employer was negligent in hiring the employee responsible for a child’s coma and related injuries, the employer (such as a hospital or other medical personnel group) may be found directly rather than vicariously liable for the damages sustained.
- Liability of Anesthesiologists
If a child’s coma and related injuries results from errors in the administration of anesthesia, the anesthesiologist as well as the entity that employs the anesthesiologist may be found liable for the child’s injuries.
- Liability of Pediatric Surgeon
Pediatric surgeons may commit errors either before or during pediatric surgery that result in a child’s coma and related injuries. Pediatricians who make such errors may be held liable for the resulting damages in actions for pediatric malpractice.
- Liability of Nurses and Similar Medical Personnel
Nurses, nursing assistants, and physician’s assistants may administer medications to children, for example, both before and after pediatric surgery. If the administration of an improper medication results in a child’s coma and related injuries, the individual who administered the medication as well as the individual’s employer may be held liable in an action for malpractice.
- Motor-vehicle Accidents
A child’s coma and related injuries may also occur outside the context of medical malpractice. If a child sustains such an injury in a motor-vehicle accident, for example, and someone’s negligence (such as that of one or more drivers) is found to have been a cause of the child’s injuries, those individuals may be found liable in an action for negligence for resulting damages.
- Negligent Supervision
A child may also sustain a coma injury as a result of someone’s negligent supervision. If, for example, a child is injured on a school playground and the negligent supervision of school employees is found to have been a cause of the injury, the employee or employees responsible as well as the school that employs them may be found liable for the damages sustained as a result of the child’s injuries.
A child’s coma and related injuries may also be caused by the use of a defective product, such as a toy, playground equipment, or sports equipment. If a child sustains such an injury and a product’s defect is determined to have been a cause of the injury, the product’s manufacturer and anyone in the chain of the product’s distribution may be found liable in a product-liability action for the damages sustained.
If your child has suffered a coma injury as a result of someone’s negligence, contact child-coma attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for experienced and compassionate assistance with your case.