Orlando Surgical Errors Attorneys
By its very nature, even a relatively minor surgery carries with it a certain degree of risk. Unintended injury to adjacent structures, post-surgical infection, a dangerous reaction to anesthesia, or a less than the desired result are just a few of the potential risks patients are typically warned about when consenting to a surgical procedure. While some of these adverse events cannot be avoided despite employing every possible precaution, others occur because of an avoidable surgical error. The victim of a surgical error may suffer an additional physical injury that requires further treatment and/or another surgery as well as chronic pain and life-long emotional trauma.
If you are the victim of a surgical error, or you lost a family member because of one, you could be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the party (or parties) responsible for the surgical error. If you were harmed by a surgical error, the responsible party(s) could be required to compensate you for your medical expenses and lost income as well as the pain and suffering that surgical error caused you.
Having an experienced Orlando surgical error attorney on your side is the key to navigating the complex medical malpractice legal system. At Bailey Fisher, our practice is dedicated exclusively to helping injured victims and their families, including those injured because of medical malpractice or those who lost a loved one because of a medical error. Our extensive experience, skills, and resources allow us to advocate aggressively for victims and families who have suffered because of a surgical error and ensure the parties responsible are held accountable.
What Are Some Common Types of Surgical Errors?
While some surgical procedures are considered simple and “routine,” others are extremely complex and risky. Regardless of the type of surgical procedure involved, a seemingly endless list of things can go wrong. Some of the most common surgical errors include:
- Operating on the wrong body part. Just as it sounds, this involves things such as the surgeon operating on the left leg when it was supposed to be the right, or removing a spleen when it should have been an appendix. This happens far more often than most people realize. In fact, healthcare staff often use a permanent marker to mark the correct body part prior to surgery to try to prevent operating on the wrong body part.
- Operating on the wrong patient. Have you ever been waiting for anesthesia prior to surgery and had someone come up, check your wristband, and ask you your name? If so, that is done to try and prevent operating on the wrong patient which also occurs on rare occasions.
- Nerve damage. If a scalpel or other surgical instrument slips, it can nick or completely sever a nerve, causing permanent nerve damage, paralysis to a localized area or one side of the body, paraplegia, or quadriplegia.
- Injury to adjacent organs or other internal structures. Just as mechanical trauma can occur to nerves or blood vessels during surgery, the careless use of scalpels, retractors, cautery devices, and other surgical instruments can cause permanent injury to adjacent internal organs resulting in the need for further surgery and/or causing functional impairment.
- Foreign objects. Medical instruments, surgical sponges, gauze, clips, and a variety of other foreign objects have all unintentionally been left inside surgical patients causing infection, pain, and additional injuries. Often, the patient must undergo another surgical procedure to remove the foreign object left inside during the initial procedure.
- Internal bleeding. During surgery, a blood vessel, artery, vein, or organ can be cut, resulting in potentially life-threatening internal bleeding. Failing to immediately locate the source of the bleeding and repair the damage can cause serious medical problems, including a fatal loss of blood.
- Contamination or incompatibility. Even minor surgery may require a blood transfusion. More complex surgeries also involve donor tissue or organs. If the blood, tissue, or organ is contaminated or incompatible it can result in a serious medical crisis or death for the patient.
- Infection. Any time a patient undergoes a surgical procedure the risk of infection is increased; however, there are protocols and procedures that should be used to reduce that risk. If those protocols and procedures are not followed, or a dangerous infection is not caught and treated quickly, serious complications may ensue, including the patient suffering life-threatening sepsis.
- Disfigurement and scarring. While surgeries performed to save the life of a critically injured patient may leave scars that could not be avoided, elective cosmetic surgeries should enhance how the patient looks. Unfortunately, surgical errors leave some plastic surgery patients disfigured and/or scarred instead of with the intended physical improvements.
Is a Surgical Error Always Considered Medical Malpractice?
No one going into surgery wants to acknowledge that surgeons (and other healthcare providers) can make mistakes; however, mistakes do occur. Not all surgical errors rise to the level of medical practice, but surgeons are held to a standard of reasonable care that includes avoiding preventable injury to the patient. When a surgical error violates the standard of care for healthcare providers found in Florida Statute 766.102(1), that error may be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit. The standard of care is defined as “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” Because surgical errors are effectively evaluated by looking at whether another similarly experienced and qualified surgeon would have made the same mistake, surgical error lawsuits require expert testimony which is yet another reason to have an experienced Orlando surgical error attorney on your side.
Am I Entitled to Compensation in an Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
When a surgeon and/or other healthcare professional fails to live up to the applicable standard of care, and a surgical error causes or contributes to injury, the injured patient may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party or parties. Likewise, if a family member was killed because of medical malpractice on the part of a surgeon and/or other parties, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.
The injured victim in a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages stemming from the defendant’s negligence, including:
- Medical expenses. Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses resulting from the surgical error, including hospital bills, mental health counseling, travel expenses, medications, and specialized equipment.
- Lost wages. If you experienced a loss of income and/or are expected to permanently live with the inability to make what you made prior to the surgical error, you may be entitled to recover the value of that lost income.
- Rehabilitation. The cost of time spent in a rehabilitation facility, outpatient therapy, or in-home assistance – including any anticipated future expenses — could all be reimbursed.
- Pain and suffering and emotional trauma. If you suffered physical pain and/or emotional trauma because of the surgical error, you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
How Can Orlando Surgical Errors Attorneys Help Me?
If you were the victim of a surgical error, or you lost a family member because of a surgical error, you are undoubtedly suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. The experienced Orlando surgical errors attorneys at Bailey Fisher can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.
At Bailey Fisher we have seen firsthand the devastation a surgical error can cause to the patient and to the family. We are dedicated to making sure the negligent parties are identified and held accountable and that the victims are fully compensated for all their injuries.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando surgical errors attorneys will evaluate your case for free and advise you on the next steps.