Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

When Baltimore residents suffer a personal injury, the physical pain and suffering caused by the injury can be life-changing. At the same time, however, the emotional and mental effects of suffering a serious personal injury cannot be forgotten. Individuals who have suffered serious injury themselves or who have endured the loss of a loved one know this all too well.

Through a personal injury cause of action against the party responsible for the injury, individuals can be compensated for both the physical and mental effects of the injury. The compensation can be essential for the recovery for the injured person.

Of course, certain injuries can be so devastating that they lead to a loss of life. In these circumstances, surviving family members can bring a wrongful death action to obtain compensation.

For instance, one family recently brought a wrongful death action based on medical malpractice that affected their son. The son had suffered chronic lower back pain, which lead him to receive injections to attempt to alleviate his pain. After the man received an epidural steroid injection in his lower back, he suffered complications, including a lump that developed on his back.

While family members questioned what the lump was, which grew to the size of a racquetball, the medical professionals told the man it was a normal occurrence. The man's condition then deteriorated to the point where he was diagnosed with meningitis and painful spinal injuries. Although the man initially filed the medical malpractice lawsuit, he committed suicide before it finished. The man's parents stepped in, however, and obtained a $2.88 million jury verdict for the man's suffering and wrongful death.

The case illustrates how compensation can be obtained for a person's wrongful death, as well as for a survival action based on injury suffered by the deceased person. While the wrongful death action looks at the damage caused by the person's death at the hands of another, the survival action looks at the conscious pain and suffering endured by the person before death. Accordingly, these are different causes of action, with different damage awards to provide compensation for the pain and suffering the person experienced, and of course the death that resulted as well.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "Johnson County jury awards $2.88 million in malpractice case against pain clinic," Alan Bavley, April 8, 2014

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