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Jury returns multimillion verdict for brain injury

It is a parent's worst nightmare. You have a beautiful baby girl whose life is forever altered because a doctor made a mistake. In this case, the child suffered brain trauma and is now severely disabled because her heart stopped. Understandably, the parents are devastated, and no amount of money will ever fix their little girl.

However, as tough as this may sound, there are bigger issues to consider. She is now dependent upon her parents, possibly for the rest of her life. Life will become harder and more expensive. She will need specialists, medicine, assisting devices and specialized care. Unfortunately, you may not live long enough to care for her for the rest of her life. You also need to consider how to take care of her when you are no longer able. That is the point of medical malpractice cases. The money isn't about balancing the scales, it is about anticipating the care your daughter will need.

Once you establish liability, then the trial turns to focus on damages, or how much money you have a right to recover. There are two kinds of damages: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages are actual costs you will incur because of the harm suffered. For example, in this case, specialized education, medical expenses, therapy and adult supervision services. You will gather a group of experts, and they will project how much care your daughter will require throughout her lifetime. Once they arrive at a number, those are your economic damages.

Noneconomic damages are things like pain and suffering or loss of consortium. This is our legal system's way of compensating emotional pain with money. In Maryland, your economic damages cannot exceed $695,000, and if the verdict exceeds this amount the court will reduce it.

Do not think about medical lawsuits as getting even with the doctor or nurses. Don't look at it as a cheap ploy to disregard your pain. Medical malpractice is about planning for the future and insuring your child's future. You won't live forever, so don't plan for your child's future like you might. An attorney can help you navigate the experts and the law.

Source: Cumberland Times News, "Jury renders multi-million verdict in malpractice suit," Mathew¬†Bienek, Oct. 25, 2015

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