What are Surgical Errors?
All surgeries involve some element of risk which is why you typically sign a form before your surgical procedures that states you understand there are certain known risks. Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that go beyond the known risks of a surgery. Surgical errors can have devastating results for patients. While some surgical errors can be remedied fairly quickly and easily, others are irreversible and inflict permanent harm on the patient.
Pursuing Damages for Surgical Error Injuries
There are a variety of errors that can occur during surgery, including but not limited to: failing to monitor for post-surgical complications; lack of infection control; leaving a surgical instrument in the body; using improper surgical techniques; performing surgery on the wrong site; and/or puncturing an organ. If you have suffered harm because of a surgical error, you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to note that a poor result without evidence of a medical mistake is not sufficient to pursue a malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice lawsuits permit an individual to hold a physician, nurse or other healthcare provider responsible when they negligently cause harm. Medical negligence is defined as the failure to adhere to the applicable medical standard of care. This standard of care refers to the type and level of care a reasonably prudent health care provider would use in the same field, with similar training, in the same situation. As such, the standard of care will vary depending on the situation. It is important to note that malpractice can occur by commission or omission. When a healthcare provider actively does something that ends up injuring the patient (i.e., operating on the wrong part of the body), it is considered malpractice by commission. On the other hand, when a healthcare provider fails to do something that he or she was supposed to do (i.e, fail to administer vital medication), it can be deemed malpractice by omission.
Maryland is one of the few states in the country that still follow the common law doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this law, any negligence on the part of the claimant will bar his or her recovery completely. Put another way, if the claimant is even one percent negligent, he or she will not be able to recover any damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Once a plaintiff establishes the elements of medical malpractice, he or she will be eligible to recover damages from the at fault party. The exact amount of compensation will vary based on the nature and extent of the harm suffered. In some cases, plaintiffs will receive a lump sum award, while in other cases the money is paid to the plaintiff in installments over a period of time.
Maryland Lawyers Fighting for Surgical Error Victims
A medical negligence claim can be extremely complicated, as it often involves litigation against big insurance companies, physicians, hospitals and other entities that have lots of resources at their disposal. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our surgical negligence lawyers have over 75 years of collective experience and have handled a number of cases involving errors during surgery in the Prince George’s County area. We understand that these mistakes can have serious and long lasting repercussions for your health. We also understand that surgical errors can diminish your quality of life greatly. Our team has obtained record settlements and verdicts for our clients, including the largest verdict in a medical malpractice case in Maryland history. To schedule a free consultation and determine whether you have a claim, please feel free to contact us online or call us at 888-952-9669.