Surgical errors can have serious consequences. You will want to know your legal rights in case you or a loved one ever experience a surgical error. Knowing what to do in a worst-case scenario can help you remain calm and make wise decisions.
Victims of medical malpractice are encouraged to pursue medical malpractice claims to hold their medical providers accountable and to seek compensation. This is especially true for such vulnerable patients as those needing anesthesia for a procedure. Denouncing surgical teams responsible for harming patients helps hospitals address what leads to such errors, thus protecting future patients. In Chicago, many lawyers specialize in surgical error cases, and they can help you understand your options and seek compensation for any damages you have suffered.
In this article, we will discuss the most common types of surgical errors, how to determine if you have a case, how to choose a personal injury lawyer, and what to expect during the legal process.
What Are Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors are mistakes made by medical professionals during surgical procedures. These errors can range from minor mistakes with no long-term consequences to serious ones that can cause permanent damage or even death. These errors can occur due to a variety of reasons, including miscommunication between medical professionals, inadequate training or experience of the surgical team, equipment failure, or simply human error.
Some of the most common types of surgical errors include:
Wrong-site surgery – This occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body. For example, if a surgeon is supposed to perform surgery on a patient’s left leg but operates on the right leg instead.
Anesthesia errors – Anesthesia errors can include giving too much or too little anesthesia or administering the wrong type of anesthesia. These errors can cause serious complications, including brain damage or death.
Infections – Infections can occur when medical professionals fail to follow proper sanitation procedures during surgery. These infections can be severe and can lead to long-term health problems.
Nerve damage – Nerve damage can occur when a surgeon accidentally cuts or damages nerves during surgery. This can cause pain, numbness, and other symptoms.
Leaving surgical instruments inside the body – This can happen when surgical instruments are not adequately accounted for during surgery. These instruments can cause serious complications, including infections, and may require additional surgery to remove.
Do You Have a Case?
If you or a loved one has experienced a surgical error, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must meet with a medical malpractice attorney specializing in surgical error cases to determine if you have a case. However, choosing the right local medical malpractice attorney for your case can be a challenging task. Here are some tips to help you select the right Chicago attorney for your surgical error case:
- Look for experience: When it comes to surgical error cases, experience matters. Look for an attorney with a track record of success handling medical malpractice cases, specifically surgical error cases. An experienced lawyer will have the knowledge and expertise to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Check their credentials: Make sure that the attorney you choose is licensed to practice law in Illinois and has no history of disciplinary action or malpractice claims against them. You can check an attorney’s credentials through the Illinois State Bar Association.
- Consider their communication skills: Choosing an attorney who is responsive to your needs and communicates with you regularly is important. During your initial consultation, pay attention to how well the attorney listens to you and how clearly they explain the legal process and your options.
- Look for a contingency fee arrangement: Many law firms that handle medical malpractice work through contingency fees, which means that they only get paid if you win your case. This can be beneficial for you because you won’t have to pay any upfront legal fees.
- Read reviews and ask for references: Read reviews from previous clients and ask for references from the attorney. This can give you an idea of the attorney’s reputation and how satisfied other clients have been with their services.
During your initial consultation, your attorney will review the details of your case and help you understand your legal options. They will also help you determine if you have a strong argument and your chances of success.
To have a strong case, you must demonstrate that the medical professional responsible for the error was negligent. Negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the standard of care that another medical professional would provide under similar circumstances.
In addition to proving negligence, you will also need to demonstrate that the surgical error caused you harm. This can include physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
The Legal Process
If you decide to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, your case will go through several stages. These stages may include:
Investigation – Your attorney will investigate your case, gather evidence, and determine if you have a strong case.
Filing a complaint – If you have a strong case, your attorney will file a complaint with the court. This complaint will outline the details of your case and the damages you seek.
Discovery – Both sides will exchange evidence and witness testimony during the discovery process. This is when your attorney will gather evidence to support your case.
Settlement negotiations – Your attorney may negotiate a settlement with the other side to avoid going to trial.
Trial – Your case will go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. During the trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury.
Surgical errors can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. However, by understanding your legal rights and seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney experienced with medical malpractice cases, you can hold medical professionals accountable for their mistakes and seek compensation for your damages. After a surgical error occurs, you or the patient must act as soon as possible. Illinois has a statute of limitations that restricts how long you can wait before filing a claim, and you may wish to compare law firms before retaining an attorney. By acting quickly, you have the time to find the best attorney to help with your case. Surgical errors are expensive and often lead to further care; compensation can help ensure this care doesn’t cost you a fortune.