Surgical procedures are very delicate and detailed, so even the slightest mistake can result in harm or even death for the patient. Unfortunately, they’re more common than you’d expect. According to WebMD, the number of surgical errors in the US is estimated to exceed 4,000. Many of these mistakes are preventable, which is why they’re considered “never” events that should not occur if the surgeon exercises proper care in performing the procedure.
If you were hurt because of a surgical error, you may get some comfort from knowing that you have rights under Florida medical malpractice laws. When you retain Palmer | Lopez to assist with the legal process, you can feel confident that your claim is in good hands. Please contact our office to schedule a no-cost case assessment with a lawyer who can explain your rights. You might also benefit from checking out an overview of the basic concepts.
Liability in Surgical Error Cases
Mistakes in performing surgery are a type of medical malpractice claim, where the surgeon is held to a certain standard of care. He or she must conduct the procedure with the same degree of skill and care that another provider in the same specialty area would, when presented with the same circumstances. Any departure from the generally accepted standard of care could lead to a claim for medical malpractice, if you suffered harm as a direct result of the surgical error.
Types of Surgical Mistakes
To better understand the application of the standard of care, some examples may be useful. A surgeon may be liable for:
- Operating on the wrong part of the body, which can result from miscommunication in busy, understaffed hospitals’
- Leaving a foreign object inside the patient, such as a medical device or sponge;
- Performing the wrong surgery, usually because of misdiagnosis of a medical condition;
- Slicing adjacent organs, blood vessels, other tissues;
- Performing the proper procedure on the wrong patient, often because of misplaced patient charts; and,
- Many other types of surgical errors.
Your Rights as a Patient
If you suffered harm from a mistake in a surgical procedure, you may be able to obtain two types of monetary damages. Our lawyers at Palmer | Lopez will strive to ensure you get full compensation for:
- Economic Damages: This category is intended to reimburse you for your actual costs and out-of-pocket expenses related to your losses. The costs you incur for medical treatment, including hospitalization, additional surgery, medications, and related amounts fall in this category.
- Non-Economic Damages: Here, your losses are subjective and not always tied to an exact dollar figure. Pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and emotional anguish are examples.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Surgical Error Lawyer About Your Rights
You could sustain devastating losses if you suffered harm from a mistake during surgery, so it’s critical to work with experienced lawyers to help with the claims process. For more information on your legal options, please contact Palmer | Lopez at 813-967-8505 or go online to speak with a member of our team. We can set up a free consultation to determine the best strategy for proceeding.