All surgeries carry a certain amount of risk, so some complications after surgery are to be expected. However, according to a recent report on medical error reduction and prevention, at least 4000 preventable surgical errors occur each year in the U.S. These errors, which range from operating on the wrong body part to not treating infections after surgery, can cause pain, suffering and life-threatening harm.
In Florida, patients who have suffered serious injuries because of a surgical error can hold the physician, surgical team and/or other medical personnel liable for negligence and resulting damages by pursuing a medical malpractice claim. An experienced and knowledgeable Florida medical malpractice attorney can help you file a claim and potentially obtain the substantial compensation you need for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages caused by the surgical error.
Have You Been Injured by a Surgical Error?
Surgical errors are not merely the byproduct of risks inherent in the surgical process. They occur because doctors, physician assistants, nurses or medical technicians were inadequately trained, insufficiently skilled or, more often, simply careless.
Errors that may be considered medical malpractice involve an error of omission, as in not monitoring a patient carefully during or after surgery, or an error of commission, as in operating on the wrong side of the body. Sadly, harmful surgical errors can occur in many different ways including, among others:
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Operating on the wrong side or part of the body
- Cutting a nerve and causing permanent nerve damage or paralysis
- Perforating an organ, blood vessel or the bowel and causing internal bleeding
- Failing to identify the source of internal bleeding and stop it quickly
- Leaving foreign objects, such as medical instruments, surgical sponges, pins, blades, clips, gauze or cotton, inside a patient
- Failing to have blood ready for timely transfusions
- Giving the patient the wrong type of blood or contaminated blood
- Failing to properly monitor and manage a patient’s respiratory and cardiac status during surgery
- Transplanting tissue or organs from an improper donor
- Using unsanitary equipment
- Failing to diagnose or treat infections, including sepsis and septic shock, after surgery
- Failing to prevent, diagnose and timely treat a pulmonary embolism after surgery
- Failing to timely diagnose and treat a respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiac arrest or Code Blue after surgery
- Failing to timely consult with a specialist before or after surgery, such as a cardiologist, an infectious disease expert or a gastroenterologist, or transfer care to a specialist.
These and other surgical errors can cause long-lasting medical complications, even deaths, that could and should have been avoided had the surgeon and/or the surgical team not been negligent. In cases like these, it is important to hold the negligent health care providers accountable for their errors and obtain all the financial compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Do You Have Grounds for a Surgical Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Florida law essentially defines medical malpractice as the failure of a health care provider to act as a reasonably prudent medical provider of the same specialty would act given the same or a similar set of circumstances. That is, when health care providers are negligent and do not act in accordance with the accepted professional standard of care owed to their patients and their action or inaction causes a patient to suffer serious injury or wrongful death, they may be held liable for the harm they inflicted by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you believe your surgeon, members of the surgical or post-operative care team, anesthesiologist, or other health care providers at the facility where your surgical procedure occurred breached the accepted professional standard of care before, during or after surgery and that the breach caused you to suffer injuries, you may have grounds for a surgical medical malpractice lawsuit. A Florida medical malpractice attorney with extensive experience helping victims of surgical errors can enable you to determine the best course of action, given the specific circumstances of your case.
What Can You Achieve with a Surgical Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In addition to holding negligent surgeons, other doctors, nurses and other health care providers in Florida accountable for the harm their negligence caused, a surgical
medical malpractice lawsuit can help you obtain substantial compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages you suffered because of the negligent care you received. These damages may include:
- Mental anguish
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Loss of companionship and guidance for family members
- Physical pain and suffering
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
While the financial settlement or award you may receive cannot truly compensate you for the pain, mental anguish and losses you have suffered, it can help you achieve a sense of justice and the funds you need to help you recover.
Do You Need a Florida Surgical Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Medical malpractice lawsuits for surgical complications are usually complex cases. You must prove that a member or members of a surgical or post-operative care team breached the accepted professional standard of care before, during or after surgery and that the breach caused serious injury. To do this initially requires a thorough investigation into all the details of the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care by a highly skilled medical malpractice trial lawyer with the resources needed to enlist the aid of renowned medical experts from top institutions around the country. Then, the trial lawyer and his team must have the skill, resources, attention to detail and tenacity to vigorously prosecute your case to a successful conclusion.
The thought of initiating a surgical medical malpractice lawsuit may seem daunting, but your attorney will help you understand your legal rights and guide you through every step of the process. It doesn’t cost you anything to speak to an attorney about initiating a surgical medical malpractice claim, and you’re not obligated to take legal action after getting advice from a lawyer.
More importantly, if you have been injured as a result of a surgical error or negligence, you may have undergone additional surgery, incurred crushing medical expenses and suffered both physically and mentally. By bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for these damages, including emotional anguish, physical pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and all the elements of damage available under Florida law.
An experienced Florida surgical medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your legal rights and decide on the best course of action. If you have a viable medical malpractice case, your attorney will collect the evidence needed to prepare and prosecute a strong legal case in order to obtain the substantial compensation you deserve.