Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Surgeon?


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Whether it’s a routine procedure or major surgery, the operating room is an intimidating and vulnerable place for any individual. How do we combat this fear? We get multiple opinions from medical professionals, do our own research on the procedure, and seek out the very best surgeons for the type of operation that we need. Unfortunately, even all the preparation in the world does not fight against someone else’s negligence.

Catastrophic injuries can and do happen in the operating room due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and hospitals. While there is nothing comforting about this statement, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against your surgeon if your case meets the necessary criteria.

Did a doctor-patient relationship exist?

If you were a legitimate patient of the surgeon involved, this detail is easy to prove through medical records and paperwork on file from the doctor’s office. Surgeons are obligated to provide their patients with the best possible care. But what if your injury occurred during an emergency surgery? You are still legally covered because hospitals have a duty to provide adequate medical care to all admitted patients.

Did your surgeon provide treatment that was below the accepted medical standard of care?

Essentially, this is asking whether your surgeon exhibited medical negligence. It can sometimes be a little more difficult to prove that a surgeon was negligent, but there are certain instances where it is very clear. While these instances may seem farfetched, they really do happen. You have a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit against a surgeon if any of these examples happened to you.

  • Foreign objects being left in the patient, such as medical tools or supplies
  • The surgeon operates on the wrong body part
  • The wrong procedure is performed on a patient
  • The wrong patient is taken into the operating room

Can you prove that the surgeon’s negligent medical care resulted in your injury?

To have a valid case for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate a causal connection between the surgeon’s negligence and how you were injured. For many catastrophic surgical errors, the connection is very apparent. For instance, a misplaced cut from a scalpel may cause uncontrollable bleeding that leads to death. However, not all instances are quite as black and white, and sometimes it can take a while before you realize that something went wrong, such as when a surgeon’s error leads to a severe infection or sepsis. This is when it becomes important to have an experienced legal team on your side.

Did your injury result in quantifiable damages?

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you will be asking for a certain amount of money to cover the damages that you have faced because of your injury. These damages may include current and future medical expenses, lost wages from being unable to work, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. To increase your odds of winning the lawsuit and receiving the compensation that you are asking for, you need to prove that your injury did in fact lead to these damages.

How Negligence Happens in the Operating Room

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries because of a surgeon’s negligence, we know what your first question will be – how did this happen? Even with all the organizational methods and technological advances that medical facilities have in place today, it is still easy for these debilitating errors to happen.

  • Failure to Communicate – Great things are possible with great communication, and great errors can occur when there is a lack of communication. With so many medical personnel interacting with a patient, staff changes, and busy schedules, it is easy for a miscommunication to occur if everyone is not diligent about staying on the same page and sharing all the vital information with one another.
  • Surgeon is Unprepared – While you may have spent hours upon hours looking for the best surgeon to perform your operation, not all surgeons will put forth the same effort for their patients. If a surgeon has not thoroughly reviewed a patient’s medical records and/or come up with a detailed plan of what to do during the operation, the chance for injury increases.
  • Surgeon is Careless – Before starting an operation, most surgeons will review everything with their medical team to ensure that the entire surgery will go smoothly. Unfortunately, not all surgeons are this thorough. Careless behavior such as not ensuring that the correct surgery site is marked or not accounting for all medical equipment at the end of a procedure can result in severe injuries to the patient.

Contact the team at Ross Feller Casey today to learn more about your options for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a surgeon. The firm is the recognized leader in medical malpractice lawsuits against surgeons and has won numerous multi-million recovery on behalf of its clients.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.