When we put our trust in surgeons, we expect them to do their very best. But when a surgical error happens, even the slightest wrong nick or cut can be life threatening or even deadly. Surgical errors can cause severe long-term health problems, like a disability, loss of movement, or loss of feeling, hearing or eyesight. A botched surgery can leave families with extensive medical expenses and hospital bills as well as lost wages.
There is of course risk with any surgery. But you should not have to pay the price for a surgical error that could have been avoided had the surgeon followed proper procedure and upheld a medical standard of care.
If a surgeon was negligent and botched a surgery, they should be held accountable in order to protect future patients from similar injuries. This is why they are required to carry medical malpractice insurance.
If you have suffered serious injuries from surgical malpractice, you have legal rights to try to get compensation for your injuries, scarring, disfigurement, emotional distress, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Why Do Surgical Mistakes Happen?
Oftentimes in hospitals, staff and surgeons are overworked and sleep deprived. This can lead to negligence, such as reading charts wrong, a communication breakdown between staff and surgeons and assistants or other doctors, and not following standard procedures.
Many times it is not just one individual who is to blame. Medical malpractice can also occur because the institution or hospital failed to enforce safety measures and protocols to minimize the chances of a mistake happening.
Any of the following can cause a surgical mistake to occur:
- The surgery is performed by an untrained surgeon or surgical assistant
- Medical personnel are sleep deprived and have worked long hours without a break
- Lack of communication or communication failure
- The institution/hospital did not implement proper procedures
- Rushing a procedure or surgery
Complications From a Surgical Mistake
Any of the following mistakes can happen during a surgery when people, staff and hospitals are negligent:
- A wrong procedure or incision is performed
- A procedure is performed on the wrong body part (also known as Wrong-Site Surgery)
- The procedure is performed on the wrong patient (also known as Wrong Patient Surgery)
- Failure to accurately read charts or medical history
- Failure to respond to surgical complications
- Failure to monitor vital signs
- Not giving the correct dosage of medicine
- Anesthesia errors
- Catheter errors
- Accidentally puncturing organs, nerves or arteries
- Surgical instruments being left inside a patient
- An infection occurs due to unsanitary conditions or failure to sterilize surgical equipment
Types of Compensation For Botched Surgeries
Our medical malpractice attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide advice about which options may be available in order for you to try to make a recovery for your medical bills, pain and suffering or other damages.
If you or your loved one is suffering from a surgical error or a surgical error led to wrongful death, you may be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Additional surgeries to correct the botched surgery or cover scarring
- Medical expenses to cover the cost of surgical error and any expenses the error may cause in the future
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care
- Current and future lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death.
Statute of Limitations on Surgical Errors
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional (doctor or other medical professional) has been negligent or provided below standard health care or treatment resulting in a worsening condition, injury or death to the patient by either making a medical error or failing to act at all.
If you or your loved one suffered an injury during a surgical procedure you may be able to file a claim against the negligent hospital or medical professionals involved.
However, in Pennsylvania, there is a statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims, which means you have a limited amount of time to file your claim.
Generally, you have two years to file a claim. If the victim is a child, the claim must be filed within two years of the child turning 18. There are certain exceptions to the law, but it is important to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving Fault In Surgical Error Malpractice Cases
In order to prove that surgical malpractice occurred and that the surgeon, anesthesiologist or other medical staffer was negligent, proof must be made that an accepted standard of care was lacking and that this surgical error resulted in your injury.
Proving fault may seem like a difficult thing to do since you were probably not awake at the time of your surgery and may not really know exactly what went wrong or how.
However, a qualified team of medical malpractice attorneys can work to gather your medical records and speak to medical experts and surgeons to try to find the answers and proof that medical personnel or the medical institution were negligent.
The team of attorneys at SMT Legal will examine every aspect of your case. If you think the hospital staff or surgical team made a mistake, we will evaluate all medical records and use our extensive legal knowledge and resources to get to the bottom of your case. We will interview medical experts and build a solid, winnable case in order to hold the negligent party responsible and get the most compensation for your injuries.
A botched surgery could cause many expenses such as additional surgeries, continual medical care and loss of employment due to injuries.
Whether a mistake was made during surgery or the wrong surgical procedure was given or you received a wrong diagnosis/misdiagnosis , you may have a case and a legal right to collect compensation.
Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you are suffering from medical complications due to a surgical error, our medical malpractice attorneys in Pittsburgh can help answer your questions and fight the insurance companies for the compensation you deserve. We will aggressively push the insurance companies to get the maximum coverage they owe for your injuries. If applicable, we will take action against any negligent medical care workers. You will need a qualified team of experts and lawyers to make the best possible case for you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation. We can visit you in the hospital or in your home.