Of the many types of medical malpractice claims, surgical errors have some of the most devastating repercussions, as many victims incur thousands of dollars in additional medical debt and some even lose their lives. To ensure that you are compensated for the negligent or reckless conduct of a physician or a surgeon, please contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you begin the process of filing a claim.
What Qualifies as a Surgical Error?
Most surgical procedures come with a certain amount of risk and patients are required to acknowledge the possibility of side effects or complications. There are certain injuries, however, that do not fall under this category and are attributable solely to the lack of care of a medical professional. In these situations, patients can collect compensation for their losses, including the cost of additional medical treatment, lost wages, loss of future income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Although a variety of pre and post-operative mistakes can qualify as surgical errors, around 75 percent occur when the surgery is actually taking place. The most common surgical errors involve the following situations:
- A doctor unintentionally leaves medical instruments or surgical supplies inside a patient’s body;
- A surgeon operates on the wrong patient or body part;
- An anesthesiologist’s error leads to oxygen deprivation;
- A medical professional uses a non-sterile surgical instrument, which causes an infection; and
- A surgeon uses improper techniques.
Many of these mistakes can cause irreparable harm. For example, an anesthesiologist’s miscalculation can lead to oxygen deprivation and permanent brain damage.
Medical procedures often require extreme technical precision, especially in regards to surgery. For this reason, patients who are unhappy with the results of a surgery do not necessarily have the right to file a claim against the doctor in court, especially if they acknowledged the risk of certain complications prior to the procedure. However, when injured patients can prove that the following elements exist, then they could recover damages:
- The physician’s actions fell below the standard of care that an ordinary medical professional with the same experience and training would have used in the same geographical area and in a similar situation; and
- The substandard level of care resulted in an injury.
In cases of gross negligence, this burden is relatively easy to prove. For instance, a person does not have to be a doctor to know that medical instruments and materials should not be left inside a person or that a surgeon should not operate on the wrong patient or body part. Unfortunately, not all cases are this cut and dry, so it is important for those who have sustained an injury at the hands of a medical professional to consult with an experienced attorney who is well-versed in the terminology of the medical profession and the types of evidence that can be used to prove negligence.
Contact a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you or a loved one sustained an injury as a result of a doctor’s negligent actions, please call 847-255-9925 to consult with one of the dedicated medical malpractice lawyers at the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC about your legal options. Our skilled legal team is prepared to help you immediately.