A traumatic cardiac arrest happens when blunt force trauma literally stops your heart. In the vast majority of cases of traumatic cardiac arrest, the prognosis is fatal. Even when the victim survives, they are often severely disabled from the after effects of their heart stopping. However, recent medical advances have significantly increased the outcome of victims of a traumatic cardiac arrest.
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence in the city of Philadelphia, you need legal representation to get the compensation you deserve. The personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help.
Traumatic Cardiac Arrest
A cardiac arrest is a technical term used in the medical community for a heart attack or any other situation where your heart stops working. A traumatic cardiac arrest, therefore, happens whenever your heart stops after suffering direct physical contact.
Causes of Direct Physical Contact to Your Heart
While there are lots of different ways to suffer trauma, only the most severe will directly contact your heart because it is an internal organ that is shielded within your rib cage. Therefore, the most common causes of traumatic cardiac arrests are criminal incidents, like gunshot or stabbing wounds to the chest. If these directly hit your heart and stop it from working, the result is a traumatic cardiac arrest.
However, not all traumatic cardiac arrests happen from an intentional and criminal act. Many accidents can also cause traumatic cardiac arrest, too. Car accidents or workplace incidents involve lots of heavy machinery and excessive amounts of force that can cause severe injuries, including a traumatic cardiac arrest.
Prognosis of a Traumatic Cardiac Arrest
For people whose hearts have stopped after being directly hit or penetrated by a foreign object, the odds of survival are not high. In fact, the leading study on the prognosis for traumatic cardiac arrest victims suggests that fewer than one in four survive the incident. However, the study focused on heart trauma in the military, so many of the incidents occurred in warfare and gunfire where emergency medical help is not always dependable.
Nevertheless, many medical experts and researchers rely on this study to argue that it is a waste of resources to resuscitate traumatic cardiac arrest victims, especially when there are other people who need immediate care. These experts, though, pay little attention to the fact that medical developments – especially in emergency care – have evolved drastically in recent years.
However, even survivors of a traumatic cardiac arrest have a long and difficult road to recovery and rarely make a full return to their previous health, especially if they do not receive immediate and effective treatment.
Legal Damages and Compensation for Your Losses
Because victims of a traumatic cardiac arrest need so much medical attention – both immediately after the event and in the years afterward – the costs of their recovery can be extremely burdensome. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, having to pay for the costs of your own recovery can seem unfair.
Pennsylvania's personal injury law recognizes that justice requires the person who caused the accident to compensate the victims for their losses. These losses, called legal damages, go beyond just the medical expenses a victim might have to pay and extends to the other ways they have suffered, as well. These include the following.
- Past and future medical bills. Victims of a traumatic cardiac arrest will have huge emergency bills and are also likely to incur medical bills well into the future for their occupational and physical therapy, as well as for ongoing care. Even though future medical bills might not accumulate until well after the statute of limitations has passed, that does not mean that you should not recover compensation for them, simply because they are so far away: Pennsylvania personal injury law allows you to estimate their likely cost.
- Lost wages and ability to earn a living. A traumatic cardiac arrest is a severe injury that holds victims out of work for extended periods of time and saddles them with disabilities that can prevent them from earning an income ever again.
- Pain, suffering, and the loss of life's enjoyments. Finally, a traumatic cardiac arrest is incredibly painful and can prevent victims from doing the things they enjoy doing even if they do survive.
Because all of these losses are due to an accident that you did not cause, it would be unfair to expect you to cope with them without compensation from the person or the people who ultimately caused the incident that hurt you.
Loss of Consortium Claims
Victims do not live in a vacuum: their injuries impact those who live around them as well. If your spouse suffered from a traumatic cardiac arrest, Pennsylvania law recognizes the fact that you are suffering, too.
To help compensate you, you can file a loss of consortium claim against the person or people responsible for your spouse's injuries and recover compensation for the loss of services and companionship that your spouse's suffering has caused.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If your spouse, parent, or child died from his or her traumatic cardiac arrest, Pennsylvania law, in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8301, allows you to bring a wrongful death claim on the victim's behalf against the wrongdoer. These claims prevent a negligent or reckless party from getting away from the incident easier just because the victim died and ensure that compensation is paid.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Gilman & Bedigian strive to legally represent accident victims in the city of Philadelphia are the surrounding area. This includes people who have suffered terrible injuries, like a traumatic cardiac arrest. By fighting on your behalf – whether you are the victim or it was a loved one who was hurt – we can advocate for your rights and interests in a court of law. Contact us online to get started on your case.