Surgical Errors - Medical Malpractice Attorney

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Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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Having to undergo surgery is certainly one of the scariest events a person can experience. You are literally placing your life in the hands of the doctors and medical team. You are trusting that they are trained, competent, and will exercise professional diligence to make sure that no mistakes are made.  Unfortunately, all too often, through a lack of skill or diligence surgical errors happen. When surgical errors happen due to negligence, the doctors, nurses, and the surgical center responsible face liability for medical malpractice claims from the injured patient.

Legal Claims for Surgical Errors

Legal claims for medical malpractice typically follow the same framework for any personal injury lawsuit but have various unique procedural issues that an experienced lawyer can navigate. First, a medical malpractice claim will need to undergo review from a medical expert in the field that we hire to review the care and treatment. If the expert believes that care and treatment fell below the standard, you can proceed with a lawsuit.

Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case follows a path like any personal injury lawsuit:

  • The plaintiff must show that the doctor was negligent. This means proving that the doctor failed to meet an acceptable standard of care for the procedure. Often, this is just a lack of good judgment on behalf of the doctor.   
    • This could also be due to incompetence, poor training, poor communication with surgical staff, improper shortcuts during treatment, using unapproved or unorthodox treatments without justification, improper patient monitoring, fatigue, drug abuse, or simple neglect. This requires testimony from an expert witness with medical training who can speak to the appropriateness of the defendant’s actions.
  • Next, the plaintiff must show the court that his or her damages were directly caused or substantially contributed to by healthcare provider’s negligence.
  • Finally, the plaintiff must be able to prove that actual harm or injury occurred because of the negligence.

Damages in Surgery Error Lawsuits

If a patient succeeds in proving medical malpractice for a surgical error, he or she can receive compensation.

Plaintiffs in surgical error cases can usually expect compensation including:

  • Medical expenses. If the error led to restorative or corrective medical procedures, additional surgeries, additional hospital stay or recovery, or any other expenses, the plaintiff can receive compensation for all medical expenses resulting from the error.
  • Lost income. A surgical error may leave a patient unable to work or unable to return to work for an extended time. He or she may seek damages for the wages lost in that time, or the wages he or she would have reasonably expected to earn in the future.
  • Pain and suffering. The experience of suffering an injury is often worse for victims than the economic fallout, and the court (or jury) will usually award pain and suffering damages to compensate a plaintiff’s physical pain, mental anguish, loss of ability to enjoy life and emotional suffering resulting from the defendant’s negligence.
  • Punitive damages. In extraordinary cases involving conduct such that which is wanton willful or intentionally harmful behavior, the plaintiff may receive additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. As the name suggests, this compensation aims to punish defendants and discourage similar behavior in the future.

Building a medical malpractice case for a surgical error can seem like a daunting task, but the right surgical malpractice lawyer can maneuver it with ease. The attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander have experience in medical malpractice lawsuits, and we know what it takes to succeed in these claims. Speak with us today for more information about the cases we handle or to schedule a consultation about your surgical error case in Florida.

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