In some cases, the negligence of doctors in treating an illness can lead to serious brain injury that entitles the victim to damages and the recovery of financial losses. This is what was alleged in a $3.5 million lawsuit that was recently settled for an undisclosed amount.
The plaintiff in the case exhibited symptoms such as fevers, headaches, and lethargy that later developed into herpes encephalitis which caused diminished memory and cognitive change. Herpes encephalitis is a viral infection that severely affects the central nervous system. The plaintiff’s lawyers argued that if he hadn’t received negligent treatment, his physical and cognitive deficits would have been less serious or could have been avoided completely.
Allegedly, the doctors agreed to approach the patient’s symptoms conservatively but court documents stated: “In the presence of such rapid deterioration in 24 hours and headache and ongoing fever, urgent diagnosis of the cause of deterioration needed to be undertaken.” The defendant’s lawyers claimed no negligence had taken place. Furthermore, they argued that, as a real estate agent, the plaintiff was not entitled to an economic loss claim because of the damage to the real estate market at the time.
Many types of infections can lead to brain injury including:
- Toxoplasma infection
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes zoster
- Herpes simplex
- Lime disease
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus
- Cytomegalovirus or mononucleosis
- Herpes simplex II
- Bacterial meningitis
In the case of bacterial meningitis, the illness can be diagnosed via throat culture, CT scan, polymerase chain reaction test, and spinal tap. If a doctor does not adequately treat meningitis in a timely manner, the patient is more likely to suffer permanent brain injury. Long term symptoms of meningitis include blindness, deafness, seizures, paralysis, neurological damage, and behavioral, learning, or speech problems.
Encephalitis is an inflammatory condition that swells or irritates the brain and can be caused by many of the viral infections and bacterial diseases above. Symptoms include confusion, drowsiness, clumsiness, irritability, fever, headache, vomiting, light sensitivity, weakness, paralysis, seizures, memory loss and impaired judgment.
If doctors are negligent in their treatment of an infection and a brain injury results, the victim may be entitled to damages or financial compensation including loss of wages and pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit.