New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys Recover Damages for Surgical Errors
New York medical malpractice attorneys at Leeds Brown see a remarkable number of cases each year involving patients injured by the very people they trust to heal them. While doctors can’t be held responsible for every negative or disappointing healthcare outcome, they can be held accountable when their actions rise to the level of negligence and cause physical injury, emotional trauma or death to a patient.
Medical Malpractice Occurs in Doctor’s Offices, Hospitals and Other Locations
Medical negligence occurs daily in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities in New York and across the nation. The most common forms of medical negligence that cause injury to patients include medication errors, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, mistakes in treatment, and lack of informed consent.
Medical malpractice has serious consequences and is more frequent than many people realize. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Complexity of Medical Malpractice Claims
All medical malpractice claims can be complex and proving the negligence of a health care provider requires skill and determination. Expert testimony, medical records and attorneys who understand both the medicine and the law are key to your success.
It can be difficult for an individual to stand up to a malpractice insurance company, especially when you must produce scientific evidence and medical testimony. Having experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys working on your behalf is the best way to ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. At Leeds Brown, we take a hands-on approach to all of our personal injury cases and work closely with our clients to develop plans to obtain the best outcomes possible. Contact our office to discuss your medical malpractice claim.
What is Medical Negligence?
Like all negligence actions, medical negligence involves the existence of a duty of care and the breach of that duty. When a health care provider deviates from the recognized standard of care in treating the patient, negligence occurs. The definition of the standard of care or duty is “what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.”
Medical Malpractice Involves Violating Standards of Care
Proving that a doctor, surgeon or nurse acted unreasonably, violating the standard of care, is perhaps the most difficult aspect of a medical malpractice case. Because medicine and surgery are not always exact sciences, there is risk involved in nearly every procedure and protocol. Medications have side effects, and complications arise during surgeries. Mistakes can happen, and anything can go wrong at any time. Negative outcomes often result despite valiant and competent attempts to help patients.
But there are some things that the medical and insurance communities refer to as “never events.” “Never events” have been recognized as adverse occurrences that are clearly identifiable, serious and usually preventable. They are not simply mistakes. They are events that are usually avoidable if individuals exercise reasonable care.
Common Surgical “Never Events” That Lead to New York Malpractice Claims
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that the National Quality Forum that developed the concept of “never events” groups them into categories. They list 29 events grouped into six categories: surgical, product or device, patient protection, care management, environmental, radiologic, and criminal.
The surgical “never events” are:
- The surgical “never events” are:
- Surgery on the incorrect patient
- Wrong surgical procedure performed on patient
- Unintended retention of a foreign object in the body after surgical procedure
- Death during an operation or immediately after due to specific anesthesia error
A Johns Hopkins study found that there are more than 4,000 malpractice claims per year based on “never events.” Of nearly 10,000 cases studied, “never events” resulted in death to 6.6% of patients, temporary injury to 59% and permanent injury to 33%.
Negligence Causes Other Surgical Injuries in New York
Surgical errors that form the basis of medical malpractice claims are not limited to “never events.” There are many instances that lend themselves to further investigation when they occur. Severing a nerve, administering too much or too little anesthesia, leaving scars, failing to secure proper consent for a procedure, puncturing an organ, serious infections, broken bones, and burns may also form the basis of a surgical error malpractice claim.
Why do Surgical Malpractice Errors Occur?
We trust surgeons with our lives. We expect that they take their roles seriously and do everything in their power to help patients. However, surgeons are people, and people do not always act reasonably. What are some of the things that factor into surgical negligence? What could cause a surgeon to operate on the wrong body part or puncture a vital organ during a procedure?
Incompetence – Some surgeons simply do not have the proper training or practice to perform certain procedures. Perhaps a medical student is receiving training during a procedure and is entrusted with caring for you before being ready.
Fatigue – Surgeons keep notoriously hectic schedules sometimes operating for days in a row with no rest. Some surgeons do too many procedures on the same day. They are often exhausted.
Drug and alcohol use – Surgeons are under a tremendous amount of pressure and may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope or to stay awake. Both can seriously hamper the ability to make reasonable decisions.
Insufficient planning or preparation – Surgeons should review files, speak with their teams, mark their patients and ensure the implementation of proper sterilization protocol.
Poor communication – Surgeons and other surgical staff do not always explain procedures properly to patients, assistants, and nurses.
Injuries from New York Surgical Error Medical Malpractice may be Compensable
Because of the dangerous nature of surgical procedures, the injuries caused by surgical errors can be extremely painful and upsetting. Many errors lead to the need for additional surgery and often the death of the patient.
If a medical instrument remains in a patient, someone must take it out. If a surgeon operates on the incorrect body part, the patient still needs to have the correct surgery. Imagine the emotional trauma to a patient who undergoes an unnecessary operation. The pain, suffering and anxiety in any of these circumstances must be astounding. The physical recovery may also result in tremendous additional expense and stress.
You may be able to recover monetary damages if you are the victim of a negligent surgical error. The hospital, surgeon, nurse or anesthesiologist may owe you compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.
Contact New York Surgical Error Attorneys to File a Malpractice Claim
Proving negligence in a surgical error case is not easy. Doctors and hospitals have insurance companies and attorneys working hard to limit the amount paid to patients who file malpractice claims. It helps to have your own advocates who have experience handling big insurance companies and law firms.
New York medical malpractice attorneys at Leeds Brown are fully versed in malpractice law and procedure and know how to navigate claims and lawsuits. For decades, we have been successfully obtaining fair and generous settlements for personal injury clients. Leeds Brown has experts available to prove there was a breach of the standard of medical care and that negligence resulted in your injuries.
You may be able to recover significant compensation for your medical expenses, lost income and pain, and suffering. If you lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you might also be entitled to collect a fair amount of compensation.
Contact New York medical malpractice attorneys at Leeds Brown to discuss your case. You can reach us at any time at 1-800-585-4658.