Personal injuries can take many different shapes and result from many different situations. Personal injury claims involving surgical procedures are not uncommon. It could be a routine surgical procedure or a major surgery, but the unexpected can happen in the operating room. You can prepare for surgery by researching the procedure and the surgeon who will be performing it. You can also seek opinions from more than one physician. But, no matter how prepared you may be, you cannot always avoid someone else’s negligence. If you are injured, let our Joplin personal injury lawyer help you recover for a medical malpractice claim.
Determining who is responsible for your injuries
When it comes to surgical procedures, there are several different people who could be responsible for the negligence that caused your injuries. For example, in the operating room doctors are typically accompanied by nurses, technicians, and anesthesiologists. The hospital where the surgery took place may also be liable to a certain degree. When it comes to determining who to recover from, let our Joplin personal injury lawyer help you make that determination.
Determine whether a doctor-patient relationship existed
Before bringing a claim for negligence and personal injury, it is necessary to establish a doctor-patient relationship between you and the surgeon or other health care provider involved. This should be easy to establish through your medical records and other documentation generated by the physician’s office or hospital.
The accepted medical standard of care
Surgeons and other health care providers are required to provide treatment that is at or above the accepted medical standard of care. Generally speaking, surgeons are required to provide the best possible care to their patients. Even if they are negligent (as opposed to engaging in intentional conduct) surgeons and hospitals can be liable for an injury that results.
Examples of types of negligence involving surgery
Negligence in the context of surgery can be difficult to prove in many cases. But there are some situations where the negligence is very clear. Here are a few examples of situations that could result in a strong case for personal injury:
- Foreign objects being left in a patient, including medical tools or other objects
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Performing the wrong procedure on the patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
Proving that the negligence actually caused your injury
Another important element for proving a case of medical malpractice is demonstrating that the surgeon’s negligence is actually the reason you were injured. Although some surgical errors result in a clear connection to the injury that is not always the case. For example, a negligent surgical cut could result in uncontrollable bleeding that eventually leads to death.
As our Joplin personal injury lawyer knows from experience, it can take time to recognize that you have actually been injured or that the injury was caused during your surgical procedure. For example, it may not be until a patient develops a severe infection before they realize that something wrong occurred during the surgery.
Quantifying the damages that result from your injury
Another important, even essential, part of bringing a personal injury claim for medical malpractice is determining and proving your damages. Those injuries need to be quantified in order to recover money to compensate for them. Your damages can include reimbursement of medical expenses, as well as compensation for future medical expenses if future medical care is required to resolve your injuries. You may also be able to recover lost wages if your injuries prevent you from being able to work. Many cases of medical malpractice also result in emotional distress and pain and suffering.
Why does negligence occur in the operating room?
Despite all of the technological advances, mistakes and negligence can still occur during a surgical procedure. In some cases, those errors are the result of a failure of communication between medical personnel. In some cases, errors occur because the surgeon was unprepared or ill-equipped to perform the procedure at that time. The more prepared a surgeon is for a particular procedure the less likely mistakes will occur. Another cause may simply be carelessness. Skipping steps in preparing for the surgery or even in performing the surgery itself can easily lead mistakes. Those mistakes can lead to injuries. If that happens, contact our Joplin personal injury lawyer.
If you have questions regarding medical malpractice or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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