Patients in the 21st century benefit from medical tests and treatments that were not always available. Radiation makes diagnostic tests like x-rays and CT scans possible, and radiation is an effective treatment for some kinds of cancer. However, radiation can also be dangerous and deadly when administered unnecessarily or incorrectly. When a person receives too much radiation, an overdose may occur.
How Radiation Overdoses Happen
Radiation overdoses often happen because of:
- Human error. The person administering the test or cancer treatment makes a mistake. The wrong dose of radiation may be provided, or radiation may be applied to the wrong area of the body requiring additional radiation. Sometimes human error occurs because of one person’s negligence, but other times it happens because of lack of training, understaffing, or failure to follow safety policies and procedures.
- Machine malfunctions. Manufacturers of radiation machines have sometimes been too quick to offer their new technology without first being sure it was completely safe for patients. A radiation error can occur with a machine that has kinks in its software or has faulty equipment. Additionally, a machine could malfunction if it as improperly maintained.
The results of a radiation overdose can be devastating.
The Dangers of Radiation Mistakes
It can be difficult to know if you received too much radiation. The signs of an overdose are similar to other conditions. For example, the following symptoms could be signs of a radiation overdose:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Peeling skin
These symptoms can be signs that vital organs and body tissue have absorbed too much radiation. To prevent organ failure or death, a victim of radiation poisoning should seek immediate medical attention.
Who Is Responsible for a Radiation Overdose?
If you suffer a radiation overdose, you need to know who caused it so that you can recover damages. Depending on the circumstances, your radiation overdose may be caused by:
- A medical center or hospital
- A doctor, hospital technician, medical physicist, radiation oncologist, or other members of the medical staff
- The maker of the radiation equipment or radiation software
Our experienced radiation overdose lawyers and our staff nurse will thoroughly review what happened, gather all of the relevant evidence, and make sure that all of the right parties are held accountable for the injury they caused.
Get the Compensation You Deserve for a Radiation Mistake
When medical negligence or a defective piece of equipment causes a radiation overdose that hurts you or kills a loved one, you may be able to recover damages for all of your losses related to the overdose. Your damages could include compensation for your past and future:
- Medical expenses. Any healthcare costs you have because of the radiation overdose should be part of your award. These costs may include medications, hospitalizations, doctors’ visits, and more. If your loved one died, any medical expenses incurred because of the radiation overdose until the time of your loved one’s death should be part of the recovery.
- Lost income. Any income that you or your loved one could not earn because of the radiation overdose should be compensated in a radiation overdose lawsuit.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Any out-of-pocket expenses—including funeral costs—should be compensated.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. The physical pain and emotional distress you suffered because of the radiation overdose can never be fully compensated, but you should receive financial compensation for these damages in a radiation overdose lawsuit.
As the victim of a radiation error, you are dealing with a lot of stress and worry. You may be unsure about pursuing a legal case. However, the damages described above can be significant and are worth pursuing. If you hire a medical malpractice lawyer to represent you, pursuing a legal case does not need to add to your stress or worry. Your lawyer will make sure that your rights are protected while you focus on your health or while you grieve the loss of a loved one.
Contact Gray and White Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You have a limited amount of time to file a case in Kentucky, and we can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Call us or fill out our online contact form at any time to learn more.