Often, people think of civil suits as existing in separate, discrete categories. While there is some basis to this way of thinking, the reality is much more complicated. Many injuries occur in ways which would seemingly render them fit for several different types of legal action, depending on the specific circumstances in which they occurred. While this may seem to be merely a matter of semantics, it can be critical for injury victims and their families in helping to determine which type of attorney should represent their case, how long they may have to file their claim, and other considerations.
A case study from Raleigh, West Virginia, can help to demonstrate the importance of this issue. Sherman Sizemore, an elderly Baptist minister and resident of the area, underwent a surgical procedure at Raleigh General Hospital in 2006 to help determine the cause of abdominal pain which he had been experiencing. He was administered medication to induce paralysis during the surgery, in order to ensure that no muscular movement would occur as the procedure took place. However, he was not given anesthesia as a result of an oversight on the part of his surgeons.
Mr. Sizemore experienced excruciating physical pain for a prolonged period of 16 minutes, before the surgeons noticed the problem and gave him the necessary medication. After he was realized, he suffered intense psychological trauma, refusing to be left alone and rarely sleeping in the two weeks that followed. Eventually, he committed suicide as a result of his trauma.
His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the physicians and Raleigh Anesthesia Associates, the company for which they worked. However, because of the nature of the trauma which took his life, they pursued the assistance of a Raleigh medical malpractice lawyer to ensure that not only would they be able to recover compensation for the death of their loved one, but also that the medical aspect of the case would not prove to be an issue for which their representative did not have the requisite training or experience to handle appropriately.
These types of blended civil cases are fairly common in the American legal landscape, and for those who have suffered injury or the loss of a relative as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of a third party, it is critical to understand the importance of qualified legal representation in these settings in order to ensure that a fair outcome may be reached.