If you or a loved one suffer from radiation-related injuries, you should immediately contact a radiation sickness attorney. Legal claims involving radiation can be complex, focusing on both medical malpractice and defective medical devices, such as x-ray or CT machines. At Russell & Lazarus, we guide our clients through these cases and fight for fair compensation. Learn more below.
What Is Radiation Sickness?
Did you know that radiation is increasingly common in medical treatment? Doctors use radiation in diagnostic testing, cancer treatment, and other medical procedures. As medical technology has advanced, doctors and medical providers have increasingly relied on radiation as a means to both diagnose and treat conditions. Unfortunately, overexposure to radiation can cause serious injuries.
Symptoms of radiation sickness include the following:
- Bloody stools,
- Burns to the skin and tissue damage,
- Hair loss,
- Low blood pressure,>
- Nausea, and
Serious overexposure to radiation can also cause cancer and death. While it’s important to understand that not all cases of radiation sickness involve medical malpractice or product liability claims, it’s typically in your best interest to consult with a radiation sickness attorney if a hospital, clinic, or other facility exposed you to excessive amounts of radiation.
Types of Radiation Sickness Lawsuits
Unfortunately, radiation overexposure occurs too frequently. In 2010, at least 200 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were exposed to up to eight times their recommended dosage of radiation during CT brain perfusion scans. A series of lawsuits against the hospital and the CT machines’ manufacturer, General Electric, ensued.
In the GE cases, the radiation sickness attorney primarily focused on product liability claims. Product liability involves the manufacture, distribution, and sale of a dangerous or defective product. However, many radiation sickness claims relate to medical malpractice – when a doctor, nurse, technician, or other medical provider’s negligence causes your injuries. And medical providers can suffer from radiation sickness due to overexposure, which can lead to workers’ compensation and other claims.
You might have a radiation sickness against the manufacturer of a medical device or a healthcare professional who mistakenly exposed you to harmful levels of radiation. Common causes of radiation sickness include:
- Defective medical devices that emit excessive radiation during a diagnostic test or radiation therapy,
- Poor maintenance of radiation-emitting machines,
- Failure to follow important safety procedures during testing or other procedures,
- Administering the wrong dosage of radiation,
- Administering radiation to the incorrect body part,
- Insufficient training for technicians that operate radiation-emitting machinery or administer radiation therapy.
Depending on your circumstances, you also might have other legal claims. If you have questions about the specifics of your case, contact Russell & Lazarus for more information. We offer both free and personalized consultations.
How Do I Prove a Radiation Sickness Lawsuit?
The legal requirements for a product liability claim (against the manufacturer of a defective or dangerous device) are different than those for a medical malpractice claim (against a doctor, technician, or another healthcare provider). However, both involve complicated legal and technical analyses. You must do the following:
- Review medical records, technical documents,
- Identify the correct standards of care,
- Consult with expert witnesses,
- Take depositions of medical staff and radiation sickness victims, and
- Assess the extent of the victim’s damages
It’s also important that you act quickly. There are strict filing and notice deadlines in radiation sickness claims. Medical malpractice claims involve very strict procedural requirements. You must file notices of intent and other documents before you file suit. If you miss these steps, you might lose your right to compensation completely. Once these deadlines expire, you will lose your right to compensation – no matter how skilled your radiation sickness attorney is.
Most radiation sickness victims and their families cannot address all of these hurdles on their own. Instead, they retain an experienced radiation sickness attorney – letting the victim focus on his or her recovery.
Compensation for Radiation Sickness
Compensation for radiation sickness varies dramatically, depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim. However, you might be eligible for:
- Economic damages: compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, attendant care, and other radiation exposure-related expenses,
- Non-economic damages: compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium,
- Punitive damages: in cases of very severe or intentional misconduct, damages aimed at punishing the defendant.
However, your damages must be quantifiable (or provable).
If you or a loved one suffer from radiation sickness, you should do the following:
- Collect medical records relating to the overexposure and subsequent medical treatment,
- Compile medical bills and receipts,
- Document your lost income or wages, and
- Consult with an experienced radiation sickness attorney.
Schedule an Appointment With a Radiation Sickness Attorney
A radiation sickness attorney will fight on your behalf against the insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and manufacturers involved in your claim. At Russell & Lazarus, we assist both Orange County radiation victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and more information.