Allergic reactions are some of the deadliest medical emergencies in the world. Although most are mild, some reactions can lead to organ failure or even death when left untreated. If you had a reaction due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to sue for personal injury in West Virginia.
Understanding allergic reactions and their symptoms
Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen or food. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Examples of mild symptoms include itchy eyes, sneezing and sinus irritation. Severe symptoms include throat swelling and difficulty breathing.
Injuries caused by allergic reactions
Allergic reactions can cause both physical and emotional injuries. Some physical injuries that can stem from an allergic reaction include permanent organ damage, loss of vision or hearing, nerve damage and brain injury. Emotional injuries include trauma, anxiety and depression that can result from experiencing a severe reaction.
Suing for injuries caused by allergic reactions
If someone was negligent or malicious in causing an allergic reaction, you can sue them for damages. Examples of places where allergic reactions can occur are restaurants, hair salons or healthcare institutions. For example, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor who misdiagnosed your food allergy or prescribed a medication that triggered an allergic reaction.
There are four elements you may have to prove, though:
- The defendant had a duty of care to protect you from harm.
- The defendant breached this duty of care by acting negligently or intentionally to cause your injury.
- The defendant’s negligence or intent directly caused your allergic reaction.
- You suffered physical or emotional damages as a result of your injuries.
If your case is successful, the judge may ask the at-fault party to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering. In some circumstances, the court might award punitive damages to punish the defendant and prevent similar cases from happening in the future.
It is important to note that West Virginia’s personal injury laws have different statutes of limitations depending on the type of case one is filing. For instance, medical malpractice lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of injury, while product liability claims have four years. Therefore, it’s helpful to understand and comply with all relevant laws before filing a personal injury case.