Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Due to Surgical Negligence
Surgical error claims are one of the most common types of medical malpractice claims. However, in order to have a valid claim and seek compensation for an injury, negligence must be proven.
The New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at our firm discuss surgical negligence in greater detail below and the legal issues involved in these kinds of cases. Speak to a member of our legal team to learn if you may have a medical malpractice claim – request a free, no obligation consultation today.
When is a Surgical Error Considered Malpractice?
A surgical error does not always mean medical malpractice was involved. For a surgical error to be considered negligent, it must be below the accepted medical standard of care. You must have also suffered harm directly related to your doctor failing to exercise reasonable care during the surgery.
Why Do Surgical Errors Happen?
Surgical errors can happen for any number of reasons. Some of the most common surgical errors that can lead to a medical malpractice claim include
- Insufficient planning before surgery – Surgeons need to be prepared for the surgery, as well as involved medical staff such as nurses and surgical technicians. Surgeons need to review medical records to identify possible complications and prepare for them should they occur.
- Improper procedures – Different surgical procedures have various steps that should be taken for proper completion. When a surgeon takes shortcuts during a procedure, the results of skipping steps or not completing them in the appropriate order may be damaging to the patient.
- Poor communication – The entire medical team needs to have good communication to prevent surgical errors. Failure to communicate with each other can lead to errors like the wrong body part or site being marked for surgery, no access to certain equipment required to complete the surgery, administration of improper medication dosages, and other problems.
- Incompetence – Surgeons require the necessary skills to correctly and safely perform a procedure. If a surgeon is inexperienced and has not performed the procedure enough, he or she may lack the skills necessary to properly perform the procedure.
- Fatigue – Surgeons and medical staff work long shifts in a fast-paced, critical environment. Fatigue is common and when one is tired, he or she is more likely than a well-rested person to make a mistake.
Surgical Error Complications
Surgical errors can result in a wide range of complications, many of which can be life-threatening or result in chronic conditions. These include:
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Claiming Compensation for Surgical Negligence
When filing a medical malpractice claim for surgical negligence, the following elements must be proven:
- The surgeon owed the patient a duty of care, which is the accepted medical standard of care
- The surgeon failed to fulfill his or her duty of care to the patient
- As a result of the surgeon’s breached duty of care, the patient was harmed – the surgical error was the direct cause of this harm
- The patient suffered damages due to the surgeon’s breached duty of care, such as medical bills
Damages recoverable through a medical malpractice claim include compensation for the following:
- Expenses for additional medical care required due to the surgical error
- Therapy or rehabilitative services required
- Out-of-pocket expenses for medications, assistive medical equipment and other needs
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Pain and suffering caused from the incident
Speak Now with a Licensed Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury due to surgical negligence, our attorneys are prepared to help you file a claim to pursue the compensation you need. We are well-versed in medical malpractice laws and have the experience and resources to try to hold medical professionals accountable for their actions.
Request a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about the legal options available to you. We charge no upfront fees. You only pay us if we successfully recover compensation for you.