Pittsburgh Surgical Mistake Attorney
Medical malpractice takes many forms, and any kind of doctor negligence can cause severe damage. Surgical mistakes are one form of medical malpractice that can lead to severe injuries, and are often referred to as “never mistakes” by surgeons because they should never happen. If you have experienced a mistake during surgery, contact a Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer to see how they can help you establish a case. Most surgical errors fall into one of three categories:
- Wrong site: The doctor performed the surgery on the incorrect part of the victim’s body. An example may be a doctor who quickly glanced at an x-ray without realizing it was backward and operated on the wrong side of the body.
- Wrong procedure: The doctor did not appropriately address the victim’s condition and administered the wrong procedure. In the neurosurgery field, one of the most common errors is operating on the wrong level of the spinal column.
- Wrong patient: The doctor administered care to the wrong patient. If two patients’ medical charts were switched, or the doctor confused two patients’ names, the doctor could operate on the wrong patient entirely.
These examples are forms of gross negligence, errors that should never happen with experienced, trained medical professionals. Depending on the nature of a surgery, surgical errors can be extremely damaging. In some cases, the damage is immediately recognizable. However, some surgical errors may go unnoticed for a long time. For example, a piece of surgical equipment left inside the patient’s body that did not cause distress until years after the surgery.
Typically, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, injured plaintiffs have two years from the date of the injury-causing incident to file a personal injury claim. However, most courts will allow a plaintiff to file a surgical error claim within two years of the date of discovering the injury.
Types of Surgical Errors
The number of surgical mistakes that can occur are plenty – but there are a few that stand out and affect thousands of people each year. These surgery errors include:
- Retained objects. Surgical tools left inside the body of a patient. This affects roughly 4,000 people each year.
- Medication errors. Patients may receive the incorrect medication or wrong dosage of the right medication which can lead to significant injuries.
- Surgical infections. Surgery patients face a higher risk of infection before and after the surgical process.
- Nerve damage. Occurs when a surgeon cuts a wrong nerve and the nerve is not able to heal properly, leading to loss of sensation in that spot.
Building a Pittsburgh Surgical Mistake Case
If a surgeon injures you, the first step should be to contact a reliable surgery error lawyer in your area to discuss your situation and determine your options. Your surgical mistake attorney will help you compile the necessary documentation and evidence, and he or she will file all the necessary motions with the court. Surgical error lawsuits can be incredibly complex, so your injury attorney will likely contact experts in the medical field to act as expert witnesses about the elements of your case and your injuries.
Your surgical mistake lawyer will help you determine what damages will be covered in your lawsuit. For surgical error lawsuits, you can sue for:
- Medical expenses. This can include the original costs of care and the costs of any necessary secondary surgeries to correct the error, the costs of necessary ongoing treatments, prescriptions, medical devices and any other medical expenses resulting from your surgical error.
- Lost wages. You can sue for the time you spent away from work due to the surgical error. If you were supposed to receive a procedure, you probably won’t be able to collect lost wages for the time you originally expected to be away from work. If a surgical error increased that time away from work, you can sue for the difference in most cases.
- Pain and suffering. It may sound difficult to quantify pain and suffering with a dollar amount, but expert witnesses will be able to offer the judge descriptions of what your incident was like for you in order to assess the degree of suffering the negligent surgeon caused.
Medical malpractice and surgical error cases can be incredibly complex and taxing, so it’s important to find a reliable Pittsburgh surgical error attorney who can navigate your case to a positive result. Ronald J. Bua & Associates serves clients in the Pittsburgh area in all types of personal injury cases, including surgical errors. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation about your potential lawsuit.