Each year, roughly 800,000 Americans have a stroke – once every 40 seconds – and about 160,000 of them die, while many others suffer permanent disabilities such as paralysis or loss of speech. Discounting COVID-19, stroke is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States.
If caught quickly, many stroke victims can be treated to avoid serious permanent health consequences. But in others, a doctor or hospital may be at fault for failing to diagnose or treat a stroke in a timely manner. And in rarer instances, a health care professional can even be the cause of a stroke, such as in the case of a surgical, prescription or anesthesia error.
When that occurs, the patient or his or her family may have grounds for a lawsuit. If you or a loved one had a debilitating or fatal stroke and you suspect a doctor, nurse or hospital staff was to blame, you should contact a stroke lawyer for advice on what steps to take.
Kline & Specter, with more than 50 attorneys, five of whom are also medical doctors – the most of any law firm in the nation – has the expertise and experience to handle stroke lawsuits. We will provide a free evaluation of your case and our stroke attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning that we don’t get paid unless you win your case.
Among the cases involving stroke that our firm has litigated was a $17.5 million jury verdict against the Veterans Administration for an ex-Marine who suffered a stroke following a dental procedure. We have also settled a number of stroke cases, including those for $25 million and $15 million, where, respectively, a doctor failed to administer clot-busting medication to a male patient and another against a hospital involving medical care that caused a stroke in a middle-aged woman.
Identifying and treating stroke
A stroke can be identified as it occurs, with symptoms including the sudden onset of the following: facial drooping, loss or slurring of speech, drooling, weakness, numbness on one or both sides of the body, loss or blurry vision, loss of balance, severe headache.
Stroke can be treated by administering a clot-busting drug known as tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator. However, there is only a brief time to receive the drug to break up a blood clot before brain cell damage becomes permanent. (About 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.)
Many strokes can be prevented from ever happening in the first place through proper physical care. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests working with your doctor to create a plan to do so, though it suggests that people start by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding bad habits and controlling any existing health conditions.
Among the CDC’s suggestions are consuming healthy foods and drinks, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, checking cholesterol, treating diabetes and heart disease, and taking your medicine.