Medical malpractice is something that happens frequently, and when it does, it impacts a lot of our lives. It affects a particular individual, but it impacts their entire family as well.
If you don’t know very much about medical malpractice, we will talk about that topic in this article. We’ll also go over some ways that it impacts families which you might never have considered before.
Medical Malpractice Consequences
Your Family Might Receive a Great Deal of Money
Let us consider one medical malpractice example. In Webster Parish, Louisiana, a jury awarded a woman $24.2 million for her personal injury claim. She filed the lawsuit on her son’s behalf. He suffered brain damage due to a malfunctioning pump while undergoing brain surgery.
Think about what that might do to a family. You suddenly have $24.2 million in your hands. Quite a bit of it will presumably go to the lawyer who won it for you, but you will have several million left after you pay them.
What you should keep in mind in that instance is that:
- You should not spend the money on anything frivolous
- You must conserve those winnings for the injured family member’s health and care
If something like this happens to one of your family members, that’s tragic, but you will undoubtedly feel gratified that you won a large sum of money to care for them. From that point forward, it will be a willpower test. You have to conserve that money to care for the injured family member, who likely will not be able to care for himself or herself for the rest of their life.
Anyone can say that it would be easy to keep that money safe and only use it for the injured family member’s medical expenses. However, you won’t know until you have that large sum of money in the bank where you can readily and easily access it. Hopefully, your family will act responsibly for the injured family member’s sake.
The Injury Might Cause Stress Between the Parents
Let’s say for a moment that you are a parent, and a similar situation to the previous example happens. There is a medical malpractice incident that leaves your child with brain damage. Maybe:
- You bring a lawsuit against the hospital where it occurred, and you win
- You bring a lawsuit against the guilty party, but you lose
Things are not going to be easy from that point forward, regardless of which of the two scenarios occurs. If you win the lawsuit, you at least have the money to care for your injured family member, hopefully for the rest of their life. If you lose the lawsuit, you’ll have to try to scrape together the cash for their care somehow.
It can also be very difficult for children. Parents may not agree on the best way to help their children understand and cope.
In each situation, you will probably experience stress on a scale you never did before. This can essentially ruin a family. You might argue with your spouse or partner, which could lead to divorce or separation.
Various Family Members Might Deal with Depression
In that same scenario, if you are the injured child’s parent, you might strive to keep the family together, but you may deal with depression. You may not understand why this happened to your child. You might feel like it’s a cruel fate or that the universe is indifferent to you and your family.
You may have to go into therapy to try to cope with what is happening in your life. It might be your spouse or partner who needs the therapy, or it might be one of your other kids if the injured child has siblings. You might need to go to family therapy together to try and make sense of what happened.
Your Work-Life Might Suffer
If the family tries to keep it together and press on after something like this occurred, that will probably involve you going back to work once the lawsuit is over. Your spouse or partner might do so, as well.
It will not be an easy thing to get back into your old routine, though. You may keep thinking about the child who suffered from this medical mistake. If it is severe enough, they will never be able to do many of the things they wanted or the things that you hoped they would accomplish.
Again, you’ll need to find some method of making peace with what is happening with your life. If you find that you cannot concentrate and be efficient at work and your professional life is going downhill because of it, you’ll probably need therapy for that reason as well.
When something tragic like this happens, only the strongest of families can survive it. That’s why medical malpractice can be so devastating: it often ruins multiple lives.