Mistakes Happen, But Negligence Shouldn’t. Choose LA’s Surgical Error Advocates
You need a competent and caring Los Angeles surgical error lawyer if you or a loved one has suffered disastrous results. Surgical blunders can harm patients and their families physically, emotionally, and financially, as Haffner Law knows. As Los Angeles surgical error lawyers, we fight for medical negligence victims’ justice and recompense.
- Surgical errors, often referred to as “never events,” are preventable mistakes during surgery.
- Common surgical errors include wrong-site surgery, wrong-patient surgery, instrument or sponge retention, anesthesia errors, and more.
- Surgical errors can result from communication breakdown, inadequate preoperative planning, fatigue and burnout, lack of proper training, distractions, and more.
- Seek immediate medical attention, keep detailed records, contact your healthcare provider, seek a second opinion, and consult with a medical malpractice attorney after discovering a surgical error.
- Parties potentially liable in surgical error claims include the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nursing staff, hospital or facility, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, other healthcare professionals, and institutional negligence.
- To establish negligence, you need to demonstrate a duty of care, breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages.
- Victims may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, rehabilitation costs, disability, mental distress, loss of consortium, punitive damages, and legal fees.
- California’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is typically three years from the date of injury or one year from the date of discovery. Exceptions may apply.
Our firm is built on strong client service and a comprehensive grasp of medical malpractice issues. Since we have successfully represented surgical error victims, we have the experience, resources, and commitment to hold medical practitioners and institutions accountable.
We’re your Los Angeles surgical error lawyer, a determined friend in your pursuit of justice and a better future. Don’t ignore surgical error pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free case review!
What are Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors, or “never events” in medicine, are preventable blunders during surgery. Medical professionals should never make these errors if they follow surgical protocols and standards of care.
Severe surgical blunders can change patients’ lives. It can cause physical harm, emotional suffering, protracted recovery times, and lifelong disability or death. Patients injured by surgical blunders may sue for medical malpractice.
Examples of Common Surgical Errors
Surgical procedures are often vital for treating various medical conditions, but they come with inherent risks. One of the most concerning risks is the occurrence of common surgical errors. Here are some of the most common surgical errors:
This error occurs when a surgical procedure is performed on the wrong part of the body. It might involve operating on the wrong limb, organ, or side of the body. To prevent such errors, healthcare providers use a process called “site marking” to identify the correct surgical site before the procedure.
In this case, a surgical procedure is performed on a patient who was not the intended recipient. This can happen due to patient misidentification, mix-ups in medical records, or miscommunication.
Surgical Instrument or Sponge Retention
Surgical instruments, sponges, or other foreign objects are sometimes unintentionally left inside a patient’s body after surgery. This can lead to infections, pain, and other complications.
Anesthesia is a critical component of surgery, and errors can include administering too much or too little anesthesia, failing to monitor vital signs during the procedure, or using the wrong type of anesthesia.
Nerves can be inadvertently damaged during surgery, leading to numbness, weakness, or chronic pain in the affected area.
Surgical site infections can occur if proper sterilization and cleanliness procedures are not followed in the operating room. Infections can prolong recovery and lead to further complications.
Excessive bleeding during or after surgery can be caused by errors in controlling blood vessels, suturing, or other surgical techniques.
Surgeons may accidentally damage adjacent organs or tissues during a procedure, which can lead to complications and the need for additional surgery.
Postoperative Care Errors
Negligence in postoperative care, including improper wound care or inadequate monitoring of the patient’s condition, can result in complications and extended recovery times.
What Causes Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors often originate from multiple circumstances. Improving patient safety and eliminating these errors requires understanding their causes. Common surgical error causes:
- Communication Breakdown: Poor surgical team communication causes most errors. Miscommunication about the patient, surgery site, or process might occur.
- Inadequate Preoperative Planning: Rushing might lead to blunders. This includes not checking the patient’s medical history, allergies, or whether the surgical team knows the technique and its prerequisites.
- Fatigue and Burnout: Healthcare professionals working long hours or consecutive shifts are at a higher risk of making errors due to fatigue and burnout.
- Lack of Proper Training and Experience: Inexperienced or inadequately trained healthcare professionals, including surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists, can make surgical errors.
- Distractions and Interruptions: Phone calls, conversations, and equipment malfunctions are common in operating rooms.
- Inadequate Sterilization and Infection Control: Poor operating room sterilization and infection control can cause surgical site infections and other issues.
- Equipment and Technology Failures: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained surgical equipment and technology can cause mishaps. The difficulties include anesthesia machines, monitoring devices, and surgical instruments.
- Inadequate Preoperative Patient Assessment: Failure to examine the patient’s health, medical conditions, and risk factors might cause surgery complications. Poor assessments may lead to improper anesthetic or other surgical mistakes.
- Inadequate Staffing Levels: Operating rooms may have overworked healthcare providers. Insufficient staffing can lower care quality and increase errors.
- Institutional Factors: This includes hospital policies, culture, and oversight can cause surgical errors. Errors can result from poor supervision, lack of standardization, and a culture that disregards patient safety.
- Human Error: Surgeons make mistakes like anyone else. Misjudgments, miscalculations, and concentration lapses are examples.
What Should I Do After Discovering A Surgical Error?
Discovering a surgical error can be a distressing and challenging experience. If you or a loved one suspect or have evidence of a surgical error, it’s important to take the following steps to protect your health and seek appropriate recourse:
- Seek immediate medical attention if you believe you are experiencing complications as a result of a surgical error. Your first priority should be your health.
- Keep detailed records of your medical records, including surgical notes, post-operative reports, test results, and any communications with healthcare providers. This information may be crucial for any potential legal or medical actions.
- Contact your surgeon or healthcare provider. They may be able to explain what happened and offer potential solutions. However, be cautious with your statements, and consider involving a legal advisor before making any statements to the healthcare provider.
- Seek a second opinion from another qualified medical professional to assess the extent of the error and your current condition.
- It’s advisable to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney experienced in surgical error cases.
- If you decide to pursue legal action, your attorney will help you file a formal complaint or lawsuit against the responsible parties.
The steps you need to take may vary based on the circumstances of the surgical error. It’s essential to seek legal guidance to understand your rights and options and to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
Who Can I Hold Responsible If I Pursue A Surgical Error Claim?
In surgical errors, multiple persons may be accountable, depending on the circumstances and case details. To identify the right defendants, talk with our Los Angeles surgical error lawyer. However, these parties may be liable in a surgical error lawsuit:
In surgical error cases, the surgeon is usually at fault. If they violate the standard of care, surgeons might be held accountable for their actions or negligence.
If the surgical error involves anesthesia, the anesthesiologist may be liable for dose errors or failure to monitor vital signs.
Operating room nurses and other healthcare workers are crucial to patient safety. They may be accountable for failing to follow protocols, administer drugs incorrectly, or ignore their duties.
Hospital or Medical Facility
Since they must offer oversight and maintain a safe environment, the hospital or medical facility where the surgery took place may be liable for staff misconduct. This may involve understaffing, poor training, or equipment upkeep.
In some cases, pharmaceutical companies can be held liable if a surgical error is connected to a defective drug or medical device used during the surgery.
Medical Device Manufacturers
If the surgical error is a result of a defective surgical instrument or medical device, the manufacturer of that device may be held liable.
Other Healthcare Professionals
Medical personnel like radiologists and pathologists may help detect and avoid surgical errors in complex operations. Failure to perform can result in liability.
Poor rules, practices, or a culture that disregards patient safety can make hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations responsible for surgical errors.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a Surgical Error Claim?
Establishing negligence in a surgical error lawsuit is essential to holding guilty parties accountable and getting compensation. The following components are usually required to prove surgical error negligence:
- Duty of Care: You must prove that the healthcare practitioner owes you a duty of care. Because surgeons and other medical practitioners must give a specific standard of care to their patients, this duty is usually well-established in surgical instances.
- Breach of Standard of Care: You must prove that the healthcare professional violated the standard of care. This implies establishing that they did not deliver the same level of care and expertise as a reasonable and prudent healthcare practitioner in a similar situation. Expert medical testimony is often needed to determine the standard of care and how it was breached.
- Causation: Prove that the breach of the standard of care directly caused your damage or harm. Proving that the healthcare provider’s carelessness caused your harm is required. A clear cause-and-effect relationship is essential.
- Damages: Prove the level of harm or damages caused by the surgical error. Physical injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, economic loss, and other losses are examples.
Surgical error claims are difficult to prove carelessness, and success generally depends on the evidence. Building a strong case and getting compensation requires working with our Los Angeles surgical error attorney and medical experts.
What Compensation is Available for Victims of Surgical Errors?
Los Angeles surgical error victims may be eligible for compensation to help them heal physically, emotionally, and financially. Surgical error victims in Los Angeles may receive several sorts of compensation depending on the case, the damage, and the liable parties.
Here are some common types of compensation that may be available:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Income
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Disability and Impairment
- Mental and Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages
- Legal Fees
The compensation available can vary significantly from one case to another, and a legal counsel can help you understand your rights and guide you through determining the maximum compensation you can recover.
Statute of Limitations for Surgical Error Claims
The statute of limitations for surgical error claims, like most medical malpractice claims, is subject to specific time limitations. It’s crucial to be aware of these limitations to ensure you file your claim within the legally prescribed timeframe. Here are the key points regarding the statute of limitations for surgical error claims in Los Angeles:
- General Statute of Limitations: Under California law, the general statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including surgical errors, is set at three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first.
- Statute of Repose: In California, there is also a statute of repose, which imposes an absolute deadline of three years from the date of the alleged malpractice, regardless of when the injury is discovered. There are some exceptions, but they are limited.
- Minor Plaintiffs: If the victim of a surgical error is a minor (under 18 years of age), the three-year statute of limitations typically does not begin to run until the minor turns 18. In other words, a minor who is injured due to a surgical error usually has until their 21st birthday to file a claim.
- Exceptions for Fraudulent Concealment: If the healthcare provider or facility engages in fraudulent concealment or covers up the malpractice, the statute of limitations may be extended. This occurs when the plaintiff was unaware of the injury due to the defendant’s fraudulent actions.
- Government Entities: If the surgical error occurred at a public hospital or involved a government-employed healthcare provider, special rules and shorter timeframes may apply. Claims against government entities often have shorter time limits and additional procedural requirements.
Failing to file your claim within the required timeframe can result in the loss of your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries. Haffner Law can help you navigate the legal process, ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner, and protect your rights. Give us a call immediately to know more.
Why Do I Need a Surgical Error Attorney in California?
Seeking legal representation from our Los Angeles surgical error attorney is crucial for several reasons when pursuing a medical malpractice claim, especially in cases of surgical errors. Here’s why you need an attorney:
- Medical malpractice law is complex, and surgical error cases require a deep understanding of both medical and legal issues.
- Resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into your case to build a strong case.
- Handling negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf and advocating for your best interests.
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation to ensure that you are seeking the maximum amount available for your injuries.
- Complex legal process involving filing complex documents, meeting deadlines, and adhering to specific court procedures.
- If your case goes to trial, you will need strong legal representation in court.
Surgical error claims demand both medical and legal knowledge and experience. Haffner Law can guide you through the process, help you build a strong case, and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today!
Call Our Los Angeles Surgical Error Lawyer Now!
At a time when you may be at your most vulnerable, remember that you have the right to be heard, to be treated fairly, and to find a resolution for the pain and suffering caused by a surgical error. Haffner Law is here to ensure that your voice is not only heard but also taken seriously, paving the way for a future where surgical errors become a rare exception rather than a painful reality.
Whether you are facing a surgical error claim, paralysis case, disability lawsuit, employment law concerns, car accident suit, or any other legal issues, the path to recovery and justice may seem difficult and uncertain. But with the assistance of a compassionate and determined legal team, you can find solace in knowing that there is someone by your side, fighting for your rights and providing you with the support and guidance needed to rebuild your life.
Your pursuit of justice can make a difference, not only in your life but in the lives of others who may be at risk of similar errors. Contact us today to schedule a free case review. Your rights matter, and we are here to fight for them.