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Surgery is an invasive procedure for the body, whether it entails the removal of an appendix, a caesarean section or a quadruple bypass. We put our fates in the hands of the highly trained doctors who carry out successful surgeries each and every day. Still, a recent study showed that surgery errors accounted for 25% of medical malpractice claims across a five-year period. If you or a loved one has suffered as a victim of surgical malpractice, you and your family deserve justice—and we’re here to help.
What to Know About Surgery Malpractice Cases
Regardless of the type of surgical error, a patient does not have grounds for a malpractice case unless they can prove that their doctor or surgeon violated a commonly accepted standard of care. This involves being able to prove that another competent medical professional would not have made the same mistake under similar circumstances.
There are three common circumstances under which surgical malpractice occurs:
- Preoperative care - Most of us think of surgical mistakes as happening on the operating table, but dangerous errors can occur even before an incision is made. Physicians are responsible for proper consultation before a scheduled surgery, including making sure a patient’s medical history is up to date, determining the risks of the procedure, and educating the patient about risks and available alternatives to surgery. An anesthesiologist is also an important part of pre-op care and should visit with a patient before surgery to assess how much anesthesia will be necessary. Failure in any of these areas—either from doctor or anesthesiologist—may result in surgical malpractice.
- Surgery - The majority of surgeons are extensively trained and experienced, and they complete their procedures with the utmost skill and professionalism. This is important because all surgeries carry inherent risks, which means the potential dangers to a patient are at their highest during the procedure. However, surgical errors far surpass the known risks of surgery. These errors are unexpected and completely preventable mistakes—whether due to neglect, fatigue, carelessness or poor communication—such as injuring a nerve, performing an incision at the wrong location or even leaving a surgical tool inside a patient’s body.
- Postoperative care - Just because the surgery is over doesn’t mean the risks are too. Post-op care is administered after the procedure to ensure a patient experiences a safe recovery and remains free of infection. Patients need to be kept under close observation and should not be discharged until doctors feel it’s safe to do so. Surgeons must also conduct periodic follow-up care to make sure the surgery worked as intended and help the patient stay healthy. Any deviation from these important steps may qualify as surgical malpractice.
How a Surgery Malpractice Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
When surgeons violate established standards of care, innocent patients are hurt, and someone should be held accountable. From the hardship of overwhelming medical expenses to the physical pain and psychological distress caused by the malpractice, one mistake can upend your life—and your family’s too.
The responsible surgeons need to be held accountable, but the law regarding legal malpractice can be incredibly complex. To have a strong chance of winning your case, you’ll need the help of an experienced lawyer with a thorough knowledge of the law and a proven track record of success with these types of cases. A trusted law firm will be able to help you recover your losses, including for:
- Economic damages - The cost of your medical expenses as a result of the surgeon’s negligence will play a big role in the value of your malpractice settlement. Any treatments you’ve already received—even those paid for by health insurance—will factor into the settlement value, as will any future medical costs related to the malpractice.
- Non-economic losses - Not all losses can be reflected by medical expenses alone. The psychological trauma of surgery malpractice, especially if it caused permanent damage to your health and quality of life, cannot be overstated. Non-economic damages cover the losses such as suffering and distress that don’t have a provable monetary value.
- Punitive damages - This may be included to hold the surgeon or hospital responsible for their negligent behaviors. It also serves to discourage others from committing similar acts.
Locations We Serve
At Janet, Janet & Suggs, we treat our clients like family. For four decades, our attorneys have fought tirelessly to help the victims of surgical malpractice during their time of need. We’re proud to offer compassionate representation to victims all over the country, including in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
A Trusted Malpractice Law Firm in Your Corner
Surgical mistakes can change your life forever, leaving you with injuries and even long-term disabilities. If you’re suffering with the physical and emotional anguish of surgical malpractice, you shouldn’t have to endure the added burden of a stressful and complex legal process.
At JJS, we know that you have options for legal malpractice lawyers to represent your case—and that’s why we take our responsibility very seriously. We’re dedicated to fighting tirelessly for the rights and protection of our clients—and our multimillion dollar settlements are proof. If you have questions about whether your experience warrants a medical malpractice lawsuit, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation meeting to discuss your options, and let us help you on the road to recovery and justice.