Victim of Surgical Mistakes and Errors?

Surgical Mistakes and Errors

Victim of Surgical Mistakes and Errors?

Life can become problematic in so many ways when a medical procedure goes wrong. There can be red tape with insurance companies, medical centers, or hospitals to try to get your medical claim heard. Matters get complicated when legal authorities enter the mix. When you believe a doctor or hospital is at fault for surgical mistakes or errors, you might have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or some other health care professional causes an injury to a patient. By negligence or omission, their negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

Patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins hospital have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths annually are due to medical error.

Every year, more than 4,000 preventable mistakes occur in surgery costing more than $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts.

Common Surgical Mistakes and Errors

  • Leaving a foreign object like a sponge or towel inside a patient’s body after an operation.
  • Performing the wrong procedure on a patient.
  • Operating on the wrong body site.

What Should You Do if You Are the Victim of a Surgical Error?

  1. Switch to a new physician. Your health is your priority. If you believe your current doctor committed medical malpractice and you are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to switch to a new doctor as soon as possible. Changing to a new doctor would prevent your current doctor from altering your medical records, which would influence your chance of a successful claim. Additionally, the new doctor can review your health to provide unbiased information relevant to your lawsuit.
  2. Get a copy of your medical records. Be sure to get any tests performed, medications prescribed, symptoms listed, and patient history documents
  3. Keep a journal. Record memories of the medical incident, injuries, and your current medical care. Keep track of any relevant calls you make to your doctors and your medical malpractice attorney, including the call’s date and outcome, and any action items on either end.
  4. Don’t discuss the details of your case with anyone, especially healthcare professionals or insurance personnel.
  5. Seek expert legal help at GPW Law.

How is Medical Malpractice Determined?

In most surgical error cases, it is relatively simple to establish that your surgeon’s treatment was below the standard of care. If you confirm that a surgical error violated the standard of care, the critical issue becomes whether the error harmed you.

Every surgery involves some element of risk. It is typical to sign a waiver before undergoing surgery stating you understand surgery involves certain known risks. This statement is known as  “informed consent.” Surgical mistakes and errors go beyond the known risks of surgery. Surgical errors are unexpected.

To be considered medical malpractice, you must have suffered:

  1. A violation of the normal standard of care. Every patient has the right to expect any health care professional to deliver care consistent with accepted practices by health care professionals under similar circumstances.
  2. An injury caused by negligence. The patient must prove that the healthcare professional’s negligence caused their injury.
  3. An injury resulting in significant damages. The patient must prove that the injury they sustained was due to the healthcare professional’s medical negligence resulted in substantial loss, pain, and hardship.

Potential Damages Awarded

  1. Economic damages are those damages that can be calculated exactly. That means lost income, lost earning capacity, the cost of medical treatment due to the health care provider’s error, and other financial losses attributable to medical negligence.
  2. Non-economic damages cannot be calculated and include more subjective kinds of harm like: Pain and suffering, which is the physical, mental, and emotional pain and discomfort a patient feels, and loss of consortium, which is loss of the same love, affection, companionship, comfort, society, or sexual relations provided by the patient before the accident.

If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you consult with Goldberg Persky & White. We are experienced with medical malpractice cases and will help you obtain the compensation to which you are legally entitled.

 

Sources
  1. John Hopkins Medicine [link]
  2. Warner, Jennifer; Thousands of Mistakes Made in Surgery Every Year (2012) [link]
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