Traumatic cardiac arrest is a medical term for one of the worst things that can happen to the human body – blunt or penetrating trauma to the heart that is so severe that it causes the heart to stop working. In most cases, traumatic cardiac arrest is fatal. Even when a victim survives, though, the injury is life-altering by the neurological damage that accompanies it.
Whether the accident was a fatal one and the victim of traumatic cardiac arrest was someone you love, or whether you were the one to get hurt, hiring personal injury lawyers to pursue your interests and protect your rights is critical. The personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian in Baltimore can help.
What is Traumatic Cardiac Arrest?
Traumatic cardiac arrest is a phrase from the medical field that describes one of the most devastating injuries that you can suffer: direct physical contact with your heart that is so severe it stops your heartbeat.
The prognosis for a victim of a traumatic cardiac arrest is not good. According to one study centered on traumatic cardiac arrest injuries in the military, fewer than a quarter of victims survived. In fact, some military medical researchers and doctors have argued that it is not worth the time and the energy to resuscitate those who have suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest, especially when there are others who need immediate medical attention and there are not enough resources to help everyone. However, recent developments in medicine and in emergency care have slowly increased the odds of overcoming an episode of traumatic cardiac arrest, as long as the medical attention is immediate.
Those who do survive traumatic cardiac arrest have a huge variety of debilitations from the injury. Some victims who receive immediate and effective medical treatment can return to a normal or a nearly normal lifestyle, hampered only by periods of fatigue that can be overcome through extensive physical therapy and an active lifestyle. Victims who do not receive medical care right away, though, often suffer brain damage from the lack of blood and oxygen flow to their brain. This causes neurological conditions that can plague them for the rest of their lives.
Causes of Traumatic Cardiac Arrest
Traumatic cardiac arrest can happen in a variety of circumstances, many of which are criminal – gunshot or stab wounds directly to the heart can cause penetrating trauma to the organ and cause enough damage that the heart stops working.
However, traumatic cardiac arrest can also happen in accidents, like a high-speed car crash that sends bits of glass and shards of metal flying. Workplace accidents are also not uncommon causes of traumatic cardiac arrest injuries, especially in dangerous industries like construction or where power tools and heavy equipment are a part of everyday work.
Legal Damages for Traumatic Cardiac Arrests
Traumatic cardiac arrests are serious conditions that require emergency medical attention that costs an exorbitant amount. The effects of the arrest and the medical care can keep victims out of action for months afterward and can lead to extensive pain and suffering that is often permanent.
Maryland's personal injury law recognizes that each of these conditions and losses should be compensated. Because you were not the one who caused the traumatic cardiac arrest, you should not be the one paying for its easily foreseeable repercussions. Instead, it should be the person whose intentional or negligent acts were what caused your injuries. Their compensation should include the following.
- Medical costs. The medical bills that you have accumulated and are likely to build, in the future, are likely to be astronomical because of the immediate need you had for care and because of the complex nature of the medical procedures necessary to keep you alive and well.
- Lost wages and earning capacity. Your recovery likely kept you out of work for months or even for years. If the long-term effects of the injuries that you suffered are disabling, they can even prevent you from doing the work necessary for the job you had before the incident. These financial losses are clearly calculable and so should be compensated.
- Pain and suffering. The physical pain and the enjoyments that you lose from a traumatic cardiac arrest are intense and wide-reaching. You may be completely unable to do the hobbies and other activities that gave your life a sense of purpose. This emotional and mental strain and emptiness should be compensated, as well.
These legal damages, though, are just for victims who have personally suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest or who have survived the incident.
Wrongful Death and Loss of Consortium Claims
Maryland recognizes that many injuries are fatal and also that non-fatal injuries do not just impact the victim.
Just because the victim died from his or her injuries does not mean that the person who caused them should get off easily. For this reason, Maryland allows for wrongful death claims to be filed by a victim's loved ones against the wrongdoer. These aim to recover the compensation that the victim would have recovered, were they able to overcome the injuries they suffered.
Additionally, loss of consortium claims in Baltimore aim to compensate a surviving victim's spouse for the impact that the injury has had on the marriage. These claims must be filed by a victim's spouse, alongside the victim's personal injury case against the wrongdoer or negligent party.
Gilman & Bedigian: Baltimore's Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has suffered traumatic cardiac arrest from a crime or from an act of negligence, like a car accident or other accidental incident, you need legal representation to recover the compensation you need and deserve. The medical costs of these injuries are often incredibly high, so filing a lawsuit to reimburse these expenses is essential to your financial health.
The personal injury lawyers at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help in these cases, regardless of whether you suffered traumatic cardiac arrest or loved someone who did. Contact us online for the help you need.