What Should I Do If a Doctor Makes a Mistake During Surgery?
When we go in for surgery, we trust that the procedure will make us better. Unfortunately, surgeons are prone to making mistakes like any other person. When surgeons do make a mistake, however, it can cause serious or permanent injury, or even death, to a patient. Pennsylvania law allows patients to seek compensation from their physician who commits negligence. However, doing so requires the knowledge and experience of a skilled attorney. If you think your doctor made a mistake during your surgery, it is important that you speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your case as soon as possible.
What is Medical Malpractice?
The law defines “medical malpractice” as an act (or failure to do an act) that breaches the applicable or normal standard of care in a patient’s case. The “standard of care” is usually defined as the level of care, skill, and treatment (including actions and decisions made by a physician) that other reasonable physicians of similar training and experience would provide under similar circumstances. In other words, an act, even if it was a mistake in a patient’s treatment, does not constitute medical malpractice if other physicians would have followed the same conduct; medicine is an always-evolving science, so adverse outcomes to treatment are expected.
Examples of medical professionals subject to the rules of medical malpractice include doctors, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, and physical therapists.
Common acts (or omissions) that often constitute medical malpractice include:
- Delayed diagnosis/misdiagnosis
- Medication errors, including prescribing the wrong medication, calculating the wrong dosage, or administering the wrong medication or administering medication to the wrong patient
- Diagnostic errors, including failing to order tests or misinterpreting lab or test results
- Surgical errors
Medical malpractice does not include things like the failure of treatment to be effective, unexpected side effects, the occurrence of complications or side effects that the patient was warned of, or a patient passing away from a terminal condition sooner than expected.
What Should I Do If I Think My Surgeon Made a Mistake?
If you think you have been injured or harmed by a mistake made by your surgeon, you need to talk with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. In some cases, your surgeon may already be aware that he or she made a mistake and may already be treating you for the complications caused by his or her mistake. Or your surgeon and/or the hospital where you were treated may be willing to offer you a settlement for your potential medical malpractice claim. A malpractice attorney can investigate your surgeon’s error and the surrounding circumstances, review your medical records to determine the harm you have suffered and advise you as to what kind of compensation you may be entitled to from your surgeon.
Pursuing Compensation for a Surgical Error
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice by your surgeon, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as:
- Costs to treat the complications of the surgeon’s error
- Lost wages from time missed from work during your recovery
- Lost earning capacity if you are disabled from returning to your old job
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life due to disabilities or disfigurement or due to shortened life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh surgical error attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Butler, Cranberry Township, Erie, and Greensburg. Call us today at (412) 471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant St., Suite 720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
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.