Even the most basic and routine surgeries carry a risk of injury, possibly even fatal injury, for the patient. Nor can a surgeon guarantee that a procedure will correct or cure the condition that is causing the patient to seek surgery. Doctors are only required to use their knowledge and skills to the best of their ability to try and heal patients and improve their lives. However, in rare cases, a surgery may end up leaving a patient worse off due to errors made by the surgeon.
If you’ve suffered injury or other physical harm because your surgeon failed to render care in accordance with the accepted standards of care, then you may be entitled to bring a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for the damages you’ve incurred as a result of your surgeon’s error or errors. However, medical malpractices cases are incredibly complex matters; you will likely need the assistance of an experienced malpractice attorney to understand whether you have a viable malpractice claim and to help you pursue the compensation you are entitled to.
When Is a Bad Surgery the Result of Malpractice?
Unfortunately, you cannot sue your surgeon simply because your surgery did not lead to the results you wanted. So long as your surgeon acted in the way that other reasonable surgeons of similar training and experience would have under identical circumstances, then no malpractice has occurred. However, if your surgeon commits an action or omission that no other reasonable surgeon would do and you end up physically worse off as a result of your surgery, then you may have a malpractice claim.
Proving That Your Surgeon Committed Malpractice
Succeeding on a medical malpractice claim requires proving that your doctor or surgeon committed an act of negligence. Negligence has four elements that you must establish in order to recover compensation:
- First, you must establish that you had a patient-physician with your surgeon. This is a pretty straightforward matter, as a surgeon who operates on you is presumed to have a physician-patient relationship with you.
- Next, you must prove that your surgeon breached the applicable standard of care in your case. This is arguably the most difficult part of any medical malpractice claim. You typically will need to rely on expert witness testimony (usually from another surgeon in the same field or subspecialty as your surgeon) as to what other reasonable physicians would be expected to do in your case and how your surgeon’s actions during your surgery failed to comport with this applicable standard of care.
- You must also prove that your surgeon’s actions directly and proximately caused your injury or harm. If your condition would have been the same following your surgery even if you surgeon committed no errors, then you have no claim for medical malpractice
- Finally, you must establish that you incurred some form of compensable harm, such as the need for additional surgeries, additional time missed from work due to recovery, or pain and suffering
Bringing a Legal Claim for Surgical Errors
You have a limited period of time following your surgery in which to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation; in addition, there are unique procedural requirements you must meet in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney can ensure that your claim is timely prosecuted and that all necessary information and filings are prepared so that you do not lose out on your right to compensation.
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 Haddonfield surgical errors attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, and Winslow. Call us today at (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
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.