It’s hard to imagine something worse than undergoing a surgery, only to have the operation on the wrong body part. But surprisingly, performing the wrong procedure isn’t that uncommon of a medical mistake; according to Johns Hopkins Medicine research from 2012, a wrong procedure is carried out on a patient somewhere in the United States an average of 20 times per week.
Not only may a wrong method leave your original issue uncorrected, but it could also cause undue harm. If you’re the victim of wrong site surgery here’s what you need to know about filing a lawsuit against the offending surgeon.
Proving Duty of Care and Negligence
The first two things that you’ll need to be able to prove in a lawsuit against a surgeon are that a duty of care existed between you and the surgeon (implied), and that the doctor violated that duty of care by acting negligently. If the surgeon performed the wrong type of procedure, a breach of the obligation of care might be easy to prove.
Examples of negligence that may have led to the error include the following listed.
- Failing to read your medical chart
- Surgeon fatigue
- Poor communication amongst operating team
- Failure to perform a pre-op and post-op check
Any act that would be considered unreasonable or irresponsible to another surgeon in a similar situation may be regarded as an act of negligence.
Demonstrating Causation and Damages
Once you have established that negligence did in fact occur, the next step is explaining how that negligence was the direct cause of injuries or damages that you’ve suffered. Undergoing a wrong surgical procedure could result in excessive medical bills, spreading or worsening of another disease/illness/condition, infection, and other health complications.
For example, if a doctor mistakenly removes a kidney, you can argue that this physically hurt you, you have suffered loss, and may be at a greater risk of medical complications in the future as a result. You can file a claim for the full amount of damages that you’ve suffered, including physical pain and suffering and mental anguish.
The Benefits of Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney
A medical malpractice attorney can help you to prove the four elements of liability listed above duty of care, negligence, causation, and damages. A medical malpractice attorney also provides you with a legal resource, assistance in gathering evidence, and a guide in settlement negotiations.
Because the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is two years in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible. To begin, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC, LLC today at 215-642-2335.