What You Should Do If Your Doctor Makes a Mistake During Surgery
March 24, 2021
Although “to err is to be human”, when a doctor makes a mistake, it can put patients’ health and lives at risk. If a surgeon causes harm to a patient due to a mistake, the law allows the patient to hold that doctor accountable for compensation and justice. However, holding a surgeon liable for an alleged mistake that occurred during surgery is often not a simple task. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a mistake during surgery typically requires the assistance of an experienced surgical error lawyer.
When Is a Surgical Error Medical Malpractice?
A mistake that occurs during surgery may not always constitute medical malpractice. Surgical errors will only give rise to a claim of medical malpractice when the actions of a surgeon or other members of the surgical team fail to comply with the applicable standard of care. The standard of care is defined as “the care and treatment decisions that another reasonable provider of similar training and experience would undertake in the same circumstances.” In other words, the law does not recognize a mistake as medical malpractice when that mistake would have also been made by other doctors under the same circumstances.
In addition, for a surgical error to constitute medical malpractice, you will also need to show that you have been injured in some way that you can be made whole through financial compensation. This may include having physical damage inflicted due to a surgical error, or needing to undergo additional surgeries or medical treatment to recover from the harm inflicted by a surgical error, or additional pain and suffering that can be attributed to the surgical error.
Read more: Medical Malpractice FAQ
Proving Medical Malpractice?
In surgical error cases, you will need to rely on expert testimony to prove your claim of medical malpractice. The expert will usually be another surgeon in the same speciality as the doctor who performed your surgery. The expert will need to testify as to what the applicable standard of care was in your case — what other reasonable surgeons would have done during your surgery — and how the actions of the doctor who performed your surgery failed to comply with the standard of care.
In certain kinds of surgical error cases, you may not need to rely on expert testimony to prove medical malpractice. For example, if a doctor makes a mistake by leaving surgical equipment inside of you, you don’t need another doctor to explain that leaving equipment inside a patient is not something that a reasonable physician would do.
What to Do If Your Surgeon Has Made a Mistake
If you think that your doctor made a mistake during your surgery, you need to act quickly to protect your rights and options for seeking compensation for injuries or losses that you have or will suffer. Surgical error cases are incredibly factually and legally complex and often require a lot of time to investigate and build a persuasive legal case.
After a surgery where your doctor may have made an error, you should request a copy of your medical records as soon as possible.
You may also want to consider seeking a second opinion from another surgeon to determine if a mistake was made during your surgery and identify if you’ve suffered an injury or harm as a result.
Finally, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. If you try to contact the doctor or hospital that performed your surgery, they may try to offer you a settlement that is far less than the compensation you deserve. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you maximize your recovery from a surgical error.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Rochelle Park surgical error attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Hackensack, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn. Call us today at (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.