What Should I Do If My Doctor Make a Surgical Mistake?

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A common mistake that lawyers see all too often, is when doctor’s commit an error during a patient’s surgery. These missteps can have devastating and even lethal consequences. Some patients may not survive due to the doctor’s oversight. Avoidable mistakes can occur while a patient is under anesthesia on the surgery table. After they wake up, they may be in immense pain and discomfort. Feeling confused and terrified, they may not know what to do next. If you are wondering what you should do if your doctor made a surgical mistake, the answer is to talk with an experienced lawyer in your area immediately for protection. 

If my surgery had a negative outcome, can I sue my doctor?

While a poor outcome after surgery can be heart-breaking, it doesn’t automatically mean that patient has grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The doctor must have committed negligence or carelessness, which then caused the negative outcome to happen. If a doctor had violated medical standards of care in which an innocent person was harmed, then they should be held accountable. 

What does “standard of care” mean exactly?

Doctors and other health-related professionals must provide a reasonable level of care when it comes to their patients. By law, a doctor can be sued if they fail to offer the degree of care that is expected within the medical community. To explain this point further, a doctor may face a lawsuit if they committed an error that another doctor with similar training and experience would not have. 

What are examples of common surgical mistakes?

There is an unlimited number of ways that a doctor can cause a surgery to go awry. The doctor and support team must have taken extensive precautions in preparation for the surgery, and notified the patient of all risks associated with the procedure. Common examples of ways that doctors can commit medical malpractice include: 

  • Accidental damage of nerves, tissues, muscles, or ligaments
  • Removing the incorrect organ from the patient
  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Leaving behind surgical tools inside the patient
  • Causing an infection that could have been prevented
  • Anesthesia mistakes (such as using too much, too little, or failing to consider allergies)

How do I know if I have a right to pursue damages?

To have a strong lawsuit, there are three factors that must be true for the medical malpractice case. The first, is that the doctor had committed negligence or an omission. The second, is that the doctor’s mishap must have caused the patient harm. And thirdly, there must have been significant monetary damages that resulted because of the error.

Without these three elements, the lawsuit may not be viewed as viable. Along with this, the patient and his or her lawyer must be able to gather and present evidence that supports these claims. To find out what your chances are of receiving compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can talk with a hospital negligence lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT near you for a thorough case evaluation. 

Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into medical malpractice and what to do after a surgical mistake.