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Types of Surgical Errors and When They May Be a Reason for a Medical Malpractice Case

Jeffrey R. Davis

Serious surgical errors can make a bad situation worse. You went in for surgery here in Florida to resolve one problem, but if surgical mistakes are made, it may not only persist, but you could have new problems. A medical malpractice claim or lawsuit may compensate you for the harm you suffer due to surgical errors.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury claim. It involves a healthcare provider (a surgeon, nurse, EMT, or pharmacist) acting negligently and harming a patient. You need to prove the following elements to have a successful case against a surgeon:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship
  • Because of that relationship, the surgeon must use the prevailing professional standard of care. This is what a reasonable surgeon would do, given the circumstances of your surgery
  • The surgeon performed below that standard, failed that obligation, or breached that duty
  • This is the factual and legal (or proximate) cause of the resulting harm
  • You have damages (harm you suffered measured in dollars) due to the surgeon breaching the duty of care

Surgeons have a certain amount of legal space to do their job. They won’t be held accountable for every mistake, just those rising to the level of negligence. Some negligent acts can be:

  • The failure to monitor your post-operative care
  • Objects were left in your body
  • Surgery was performed on the wrong part of your body
  • Anesthesia errors that led to brain damage or death
  • The use of dirty instruments that caused an infection

An almost limitless number of acts, or failures to act, could result in a medical malpractice claim. It all depends on the situation.

What Causes Surgical Mistakes?

They could be caused by:

  • A failure to follow protocol
  • A failure to prepare for the surgery and sufficiently know your condition and possible complications
  • Exhausted or fatigued staff
  • A lack of communication within the surgical team or with others involved in your treatment
  • The surgery was performed while the surgeon was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • The surgeon was unqualified to do the surgery
  • Failure to get your informed consent to the procedure by not fully explaining to you the surgery and warning you of likely complications
  • The use of medical devices the surgeon knows or should know may be defective

Depending on what happened and why, the surgeon’s employer (a surgical group or hospital) may also be responsible for your injuries.

What Might I Recover in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Financial compensation can include current and future medical bills, pain, suffering, lost income due to being unable to work, psychological or emotional trauma, and permanent physical limitations caused by the mistake. If a family member is killed by medical malpractice, they may receive compensation in a wrongful death claim, pain, suffering, loss of support, lost income, and the cost of medical bills.

Get the Help You Need From a Lawyer You Can Trust

Medical malpractice attorney Jeffrey R. Davis has helped thousands of clients. Many are just like you – injured due to negligence, looking for answers and compensation for their injuries. Call us at (305) 577-3777 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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