Surgery is supposed to make you feel better, not cause you future pain and suffering. When a surgeon makes mistakes during a procedure, the impacts on your health can be severe, or even fatal. When a doctor acts negligently, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. A high-value settlement or jury verdict is possible with a properly proven case. Surgical errors should not result in you dealing with extra hospital bills and pain without compensation.
If you believe you were the victim of a surgical error, you have legal rights that you can pursue in a medical malpractice claim. With an understanding of these rights, you can seek monetary damages for the negligence you experienced. A surgical error attorney can assist you in pursuing an appropriate claim.
What Are Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors are mistakes that occur during a surgery or procedure. These errors vary by type and by severity, however, any surgical error could potentially cause serious harm. Surgical errors are almost always preventable. While there are never any guarantees with a specific procedure, you should be able to trust the expertise of a surgeon or medical professional.
Even "minor" surgeries can lead to disastrous injuries if a doctor is negligent. Any member of medical staff may be negligent, not just the surgeon. Surgical errors happen when any medical staff member fails to follow their duty to exercise reasonable care.
Common Types of Surgical Errors
Throughout greater Miami, Florida, and the United States patients are experiencing errors committed by negligent medical professionals. Mistakes in the operating room or during pre-op procedures can lead to major issues that cause significant damage. Common examples may include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to monitor the patient on post-operation care
- Leaving objects in a patient's body
- Wrong-site surgeries
- Errors administering anesthesia
- Failing to monitor the patient's status during surgery
- Using unclean instruments or performing the surgery in an unsterile environment
These and many other types of errors can cause you, as the patient, severe injuries. You may also end up dealing with significant financial costs, pain and/or suffering, and disruptions for the rest of your life.
If you were injured due to a procedure gone bad or surgical mistakes, a surgical error attorney can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Surgical Error Lawsuits
Surgical errors are a type of medical malpractice claim. To successfully win a surgical error lawsuit, you and your attorney must prove that medical and/or surgical mistakes did occur during a procedure. Medical malpractice lawsuits pursue negligent medical professionals for their mistakes. It requires specific evidence of how a surgical error occurred to prove that a doctor was negligent.
Medical malpractice lawsuits typically utilize a reasonable standard of care to measure a doctor's conduct. This is usually determined by factoring in the:
- Type of operation or procedure
- Conditions under which the surgery took place — whether it was a pre-planned procedure, for example, or an emergency
- Acts of a reasonable surgeon under similar circumstances
- Skill or specialization of the surgeon
Surgical error cases deserve quality representation by a knowledgeable attorney. You can pursue your claim with confidence by speaking to one of our Miami-based surgical error lawyers. Although we’re based in Miami, we practice nationwide.
Reasons for Surgical Mistakes
Every year, thousands of people are hurt or killed by surgical errors. These negligent errors typically occur as a result of a doctor's inattention or carelessness in the operating room. Some common reasons resulting in surgical errors are:
Not Following Protocol
There are many protocols in place to prevent surgical errors. These include certain checklists, surgery site markings, and other important details that must be followed. When a surgeon or healthcare practitioner fails to follow these protocols, devastating injuries can occur as a result. For example, staff may fail to sanitize instruments or use malfunctioning equipment because they failed to check it ahead of time. Protocol failures like these often constitute negligent behavior.
Overworked Staff and Fatigue
Many healthcare professionals, including surgeons, are tired and overworked. They usually have performed multiple surgeries that day, for instance, and haven’t slept enough. Surgery is complex and dangerous. A surgeon needs to be fully awake, alert, and fully prepared for the task at hand. If a surgeon is tired, the chances of an error occurring rise. The quality of care is diminished when people are overworked and "burned out".
Illegible handwriting, insufficient explanations, or even mishearing directions can lead to surgical errors. Medical staff and surgeons must understand how to communicate effectively to avoid mistakes. Many hospitals create specific protocols to solidify communication. Poor communication could be a reason why you experienced medical malpractice.
A surgeon or medical professional may not be adequately prepared to handle a particular procedure. Doctors are expected to be competent in the surgeries they perform. If they have inadequate skills for the task, you may suffer destructive injuries as a result of their incompetence. This is often the fault of both the surgeon and the hospital administration when it comes to issues like hiring and training staff.
Alcohol or Drugs
Some doctors struggle with alcoholism or drug addiction issues. They may use substances to cope with the stress of their job or even use medications to try and help them stay awake. Doctors under the influence while performing surgery may commit severe mistakes that lead to life-lasting damage.
Compensation for Surgical Errors
A medical malpractice case seeks compensation for surgical errors that hurt you physically, financially, and/or emotionally. This compensation may help you get back on your feet after an injury resulting from medical malpractice. It can include, but is not limited to:
- Wrongful death compensation
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and support
- Loss of income
- Costs of rehabilitation services
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost earning capacity
Proper evidence of the doctor's negligence may entitle you to compensation. A substantial jury award or settlement can help you repair the harms you suffered due to surgical errors.
Consult a Surgical Error Attorney in Miami, Florida
If you think you may have a surgical errors claim, you should speak with a qualified medical malpractice attorney right away. Our attorneys have proven track records of success and can see your case all the way through. We can help you figure out what happened and whether you have a potentially successful claim.
Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a Florida-based National Medical Malpractice Law Firm
Our Florida surgical error attorney attorneys focus their careers on helping seriously injured victims and the families of patients killed due to medical negligence. Recognized for our commitment to solid medical malpractice litigation, we selectively handle the most complex and devastating medical malpractice claims in Florida and across the United States. No city or state is too far. We have handled medical malpractice cases in states such as Rhode Island, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and California.
Our attorneys are devoted to improving the lives of our clients and the communities they live in. If your life or that of a loved one has been undone because of medical negligence, talk with us. If you have experienced the death of a loved one due to the negligence of a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other health care provider, call us. We are here to help you. No case is too complex.
Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a contingency-fee based practice. What this means is that there are no fees or costs to you unless we prevail through a favorable settlement or jury verdict and judgment. Because we don’t bill by the hour and only get paid when you do, our priority is maximizing the results in your case.