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Weighing Paralysis Against Death: When Medical Malpractice Might Not Apply

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If you were recently in a very traumatic car accident, and then treated by a doctor who caused your paralysis, you may be inclined to sue for medical malpractice. However, there may have been some extenuating circumstances that led to your situation. In these situations, medical malpractice suits may not have a chance. If you discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney, here is what you might discover.

Was the Doctor Faced with a Life or Death Decision?

In traumatic car accidents such as yours, the doctor may be faced with a difficult decision. If he had to either let you die, or move you such that your injuries could cause paralysis but you would live, most doctors choose to save a patient's life and worry about the effects later. Decisions similar to this one are made in emergency cases all the time. If this is true of your case, your doctor will show that he or she chose to save your life despite the possible result of paralyzing you. As such, you cannot sue for medical malpractice, as the doctor's decision directly led to saving your life versus allowing you to die.

Understanding That Paralysis May Only Be Temporary

Sometimes some cases of paralysis are only temporary. Either the pressure on the spinal column decreases and the patient can walk again, or the patient learns to walk again through physical therapy. If a doctor thinks that paralysis is a strong possibility, but that it may only be temporary, the risk involved is less than the risk of not doing anything at all. Again, if the doctor can prove this in court, you would not have a case against him/her either.

Psychologically-Induced Paralysis Does Not Count Either

Finally, it should be noted that if your paralysis is purely psychological, you cannot sue the doctor either. This often occurs as a result of emotional and psychological trauma from a major accident. If the doctor shows that you have perfectly normal legs, nerves, spine, etc., but you cannot walk because of some emotional or psychological side effects of your accident, you do not have a case. It may take time and lots of physical and cognitive behavioral therapy, but you can walk and could walk again. Since this is also not the fault of the doctor who treated you in the emergency room, medical malpractice does not apply to your case

You can discover more here about medical malpractice.