Most people know the risks involved in surgical procedures. But many overlook the possibility that surgeons can make errors that lead to severe injuries, disabilities, and death.
Many medical malpractice cases involve errors made during surgery. But not all errors can be considered malpractice under the law.
Each case is unique, and you need to understand what constitutes malpractice in order to receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
When is an Error Considered Malpractice?
Surgical errors involve actions and injuries that are beyond the scope of the recognized risks of any given procedure.
Signing an “informed consent” form doesn’t protect doctors from errors resulting from neglect, incompetence, or poor planning.
These are errors that are unexpected. So patients who are injured or the families of deceased loved ones can take legal action to hold doctors accountable.
Surgeons and other medical professionals must practice within an accepted standard of care. This standard is equal to the care that any medical professional would provide under the same circumstances.
Errors have to fall below that standard in order for them to be considered medical malpractice.
Surgical errors include nerve damage, incorrect dosages of medications or anesthesia, failure to remove surgical instruments, operating on the wrong patient or body part, and performing unnecessary surgeries.
Infections and damage to the vital organs can also occur from surgical errors. These can lead to significant injuries to patients and damages that impact their entire families.
Why Do Surgical Errors Happen?
There are many factors that contribute to surgical errors. In some cases, neglect may be the primary cause. Using defective or contaminated equipment is an example of neglect.
Communication failures can lead to errors made during surgery. They can involve mistakes related medication, the surgery itself, or the availability of the required instruments.
Surgeons and their assistants must take the steps to review patient records in advance. This ensures that they take the right steps while being able to address any potential complications that might arise.
Doctors may be overworked, leading to fatigue and an impaired ability to think clearly during surgery. Using drugs or alcohol increases the risk of errors and the injuries they cause.
Inexperienced surgeons are more likely to injure patients. So making sure that doctors have the required skills to perform a procedure is critical to the wellbeing of all patients.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Malpractice cases are complex and should be dealt with by a skilled legal professional who understands the laws related to medical errors.
You’ll need to gather evidence showing that your injuries resulted from treatment that fell below the accepted standard of care.
Your attorney will help you prove to the courts that your damages were a result of the injuries you sustained from surgical errors.
Family members of deceased patients may receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Compensation for your injuries gives you the resources you need to receive ongoing medical care while covering past medical bills, the loss of income, and the loss of earning capacity.
You might be offered a settlement that’s far below what you deserve. Consulting with an attorney prevents you from being taken advantage of by hospitals looking out for their own interests.
Understanding surgical errors in medical malpractice helps you take the right steps to get the compensation you deserve.