Your Legal Options Following a Surgical Error
The area of medical malpractice covers a wide range of professional negligence, including diagnostic and medication errors. Some of the most common and devastating types of medical malpractice claims, however, are based on surgical error, which can leave patients permanently disabled, and in some tragic cases, can even result in death. To learn more about your own legal options after a surgical error, please contact a dedicated Atlanta medical malpractice attorney who is familiar with these types of claims and can ensure that your interests are protected.
What Qualifies as a Surgical Error?
All surgical procedures come with a certain amount of risk, which is why patients are generally required to acknowledge that their treatment could be accompanied by specific complications. If these complications result in an injury with no accompanying negligence, the patient is rarely able to hold the surgeon accountable, as they were notified of, and consented to, the risks of undergoing surgery. This is not true, however, for mistakes that are the result of negligence on the part of a healthcare provider, such as:
- Operating on the wrong body part;
- Improperly administering anesthesia or failing to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels during surgery;
- Leaving surgical instruments inside a patient’s body;
- Using non-sterilized instruments; or
- Failing to comply with proper surgical techniques.
The injuries caused by this type of negligence can range in severity from minor infections or excessive scarring to permanent brain damage or sepsis. Unfortunately, in many cases, patients are not aware of a surgical error until it is too late to avoid injury.
Establishing Liability for a Surgical Error
Before a patient can recover compensation for a surgical error, he or she will be required to prove that:
- A healthcare provider’s actions did not meet the required standard of care that a reasonable provider would have used in similar circumstances; and
- The sub-standard care resulted in the patient’s injury.
Almost all surgical error cases require the plaintiff to use one or more expert witnesses to establish a meritorious case against the defendant. Such experts can testify as to a specific healthcare provider’s failure to meet the standard of care, along with the causal link between the provider’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injuries.
Schedule an Initial Case Review with a Dedicated Attorney
Plaintiffs who can successfully prove that a healthcare provider’s negligence led to their injury could be entitled to damages compensating them for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you want to learn more about the types of damages for which you could be eligible following a surgical error, please call 404-816-4555 to speak with experienced surgical error attorney Stacey Carroll at the Carroll Law Firm LLC today.