Surgical Error Lawyers in Washington, D.C.
Surgeries are invasive procedures. Positive outcomes are not always guaranteed. Just because an operation does not produce the result that you had anticipated, it may not grounds for a medical malpractice claim. You can bring a surgical error claim only if the surgeon’s actions fail to meet a specific standard of care. Establishing that a surgeon failed to meet this standard can be challenging. So, it is crucial to consult with an experienced surgical error lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
If you or a loved one has experienced injuries due to a surgical error, turn to a legal team that has the right knowledge, experience and resources to handle your case. At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD, our medical malpractice lawyers are uniquely qualified to assist you with a surgical error case. Dr. Michael Wilson is a physician with a medical degree from Georgetown University as well as an attorney with more than three decades of medical malpractice experience. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with him today.
What Are Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals can make during surgery. These errors often result from poor planning, lack of skill, failure to complete all steps in a procedure, lack of communication, substance abuse, fatigue or simple carelessness.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine determined that medical mistakes, including surgical errors, serve as the third-leading cause of death in our country. A mistake in any surgery could lead to severe injuries or even death. If the injury due to the negligence on the part of a surgeon, the patient or surviving family members could be eligible to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
If a surgical error harmed you, you will be required to prove that in committing this act, your doctor or other medical professionals did not meet the general standard of care required of them. The standard of care is measured by the type and level of care that an ordinary, prudent health care professional of the same training and skill level would administer under similar circumstances. In other words, the standard of care sets the bar that needs to be met in your medical care. If you can prove that your doctor fell below this standard when providing care and treatment to you, and the doctor’s failure to meet this standard caused you to suffer harm, then you should be able to establish a medical malpractice claim.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD, we bring both a medical and legal perspective to our review of cases. We can identify the standard of care and assess whether a surgical error occurred due to a doctor’s failure to meet the appropriate standard. We can also carefully calculate your damages and take steps to pursue just compensation for you.
What are Common Types of Surgical Errors?
Unfortunately for patients, surgical errors can and do happen often. The most common errors include:
- Anesthesia error – If a doctor administers too much or too little anesthesia during surgery, a patient can suffer tremendous pain or more serious side effects such as neurological damage. Administering anesthesia before checking the patient’s medical history or diet can also be dangerous.
- Nerve injuries – When nerves are damaged during surgery, the patient could experience extreme pain, loss of function or paralysis. Specific operations may involve a higher risk of nerve damage. These surgeries will often require that the patient sign a waiver acknowledging the risk.
- Operating on the wrong body part – If a surgeon mistakenly operates on the wrong body part, the patient could be forced to undergo additional corrective procedures, as well as surgery on the correct site. The impact of this type of error could be devastating for the patient.
- Operating on the wrong patient – This error can be problematic even if the patient receives the correct procedure. This is because different patients can have different medical allergies and needs. So, operating on the wrong patient could lead to severe injuries or could prove to be fatal.
- Leaving surgical equipment inside a patient – Sponges, gauze and surgical instruments that are accidentally left inside the body can cause infection and excruciating pain, and often, they require additional surgery for retrieval.
- Faulty incision – When a surgeon makes an incision in the wrong area for the surgery, the patient could suffer unnecessarily.
- Unsanitary environment – When proper sterile procedures are not followed in the operating room, unsanitary equipment or contaminated objects can cause patients to suffer from life-threatening infections.
- Performing an unnecessary procedure – Some surgeries are not medically necessary. A doctor may order the surgery because the doctor misread a chart or misinterpreted lab results.
- Delaying surgery – If a time-sensitive surgery is unnecessarily delayed by your doctor or hospital, resulting in more harm to you, this delay can be viewed as a surgical error resulting in damages.
- Surgical plan errors – Medical teams should develop thorough surgical plans for planned procedures. The failure to construct a complete plan or follow the plan after it is developed can result in serious surgical errors that harm the patient.
- Damage to other body parts – If another body part is accidentally damaged during a surgical procedure, you could have a surgical error claim.
If you have been hurt due to these or any other surgical errors, please contact The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD, for a free, in-depth review of your medical malpractice case with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.
What are the Consequences of Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors have significant consequences. In addition to the fact that surgical error can put your life in jeopardy, the most common mistakes tend to result in infections and long-term damage such as nerve damage and/or scarring. Also, if a surgical error occurs, the patient may need additional surgery to correct the mistake and improve the patient’s health.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson and our legal team understand the long-term consequences that surgical errors can have. We know that as a patient, you placed your faith in your doctor and expected the doctor to meet the standard of care. If your doctor failed to do so, you have a right to feel betrayed and angry. You also have the right to take decisive legal action to hold the doctor and other medical professionals accountable.
What Compensation Can You Seek If You Are Hurt by a Surgical Error?
If a surgical error occurred in your case due to medical malpractice, and you suffered harm as a result of that error, you could be eligible to recover compensation from the doctor, hospital or both. Surgeons, hospitals and their insurers typically fight surgical error claims aggressively. This is why it is crucial to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to represent you.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD, we will work aggressively to establish the strongest possible wrongful death case on your behalf and pursue damages such as:
- Economic damages – These are any damages that have a monetary value, including medical bills related to the procedure when the error occurred as well as medical bills dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of the injury. Economic damages can also cover things such as lost wages due to time you had to take off of work for your recovery and other losses with specific values.
- Non-economic damages – These are damages that do not have a defined value in place, including disability, pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of time with your family and more. Non-economic damages are assigned a value based on the specific facts of the case. This is an area of a claim that we will review together in detail. While we cannot guarantee results, our team can give you a better understanding of the type of compensation you can expect from your surgical error claim.
An important aspect of medical malpractice damages is that some states have a cap on non-economic damages. This means that you still may be able to recover non-economic damages, but they will be limited to a certain extent. We can advise you about the damages potentially available to you in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia or a different jurisdiction where your medical malpractice claim would be filed and litigated.
Contact Our Washington, D.C. Surgical Injury Attorneys Today
Our team at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, MD, JD, is available to assist you with any medical malpractice issues you may have, including surgical errors. Because of our background in medicine, we not only understand the devastation that can accompany a surgical error, we also have the technical knowledge to identify different types of errors. We also routinely consult with highly experienced physicians to get a better idea of the standard of care and whether a surgeon failed to meet that standard. Through the years, we have recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.