Philadelphia Surgical Mistakes Attorney
The prospect of surgery is a daunting one, even for the most iron-willed. There’s no such thing as a minor surgery, especially when you’re the one on the table. So when you wake up and discover that an error occurred, what are your next steps? How do you determine the recourse for the parties responsible? Unfortunately, determining medical malpractice and surgical error is not always black and white.
Medical Malpractice: A Primer
An error during surgery isn’t always grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide adequate care, or falls below an established standard of care. A physician commits negligence when he or she fails to diagnose or treat a disease, or issues inadequate treatment. In the case of surgical procedures, you need to prove that the surgeon’s care well below standard and that you were harmed by it.
So what defines a surgical error? Simply put, a surgical mistake is one that is completely preventable. When you undergo a surgery, the hospital and your attending physician are required by law to educate you about all of the known risks associated with the procedure. The forms you sign before surgery are known as informed consent documents. The mistakes that make you eligible for a malpractice claim are those that go beyond any known risks outlined during the informed consent process.
What Grounds Do I Have For A Surgical Malpractice Claim?
No two surgeries are the same, so our firm evaluates each on a case-by-case basis. However, we do follow general guidelines for determining grounds for a claim:
- Preoperative mistakes: Surgeons must prepare themselves extensively for each surgery, including making contingency plans for complications. Nurses and other medical professionals must make every effort to equip the surgical suite with all of the necessary components for a procedure. Failure to do so may result in negligence.
- Communication errors: A successful procedure hinges on effective communication between every member of the medical team, from the surgeon in charge to the nurses and anesthesiologist. Any breakdown in communication can lead to errors, such as not realizing that a patient is allergic to a medication.
- Fatigue: It’s no secret that surgeons work long shifts, which can affect their accuracy. Hospitals are required to make sure that doctors are not exceeding their normal work hours.
- Incompetence: As much as we would like to believe that every doctor treats surgeries with great care, some take shortcuts or eschew evidence-based techniques to make a procedure faster. When this occurs, they’ve committed negligence from their own incompetence.
- Influence of drugs or alcohol: Just as you’re prohibited from operating a vehicle under the influence, a surgeon is required to complete every procedure with a clear mind. It goes without saying that a surgeon who operates under the influence commits negligence. If caught, they could serve jail time and lose their license on top of a malpractice suit.
I Want To Pursue A Medical Malpractice Claim Due To Surgical Error. What Are My Next Steps?
Meeting with a law firm that has experience dealing with surgical lawsuits is the first essential step in securing compensation for your surgical experience. Don’t let the hospital attorneys low-ball you into accepting a settlement that’s less than you deserve. Meet with the Philadelphia attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Office to review your case, risk-free. We have a proud history of getting fair settlements for our clients without going to trial. If going to court becomes necessary, we’ll work hard to provide all the evidence a jury needs to award you compensation. For a case evaluation, contact our office today.