When we undergo surgery, we instill our trust in a physician and their medical team and place our lives in their hands, and when that trust is broken, you should contact a Chicago surgical error lawyer.
While there is never a guarantee in any successful medical procedure, and we are aware of the existing surgical risks, when physicians adhere to trusted techniques, surgical errors – including surgical mistakes – can be significantly reduced.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is an established personal injury law firm ready to prosecute a preventable surgical error involving a serious injury or wrongful death of someone you love to the fullest extent of the law in Illinois.
Contact a Chicago surgical error attorney in our firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for a legal consultation to discuss your legal options.
What Is a Surgical Error?
Surgical errors devastate injured patients because they can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. Some surgical mistakes include:
- Incorrect patient identification
- Too little anesthesia
- Incorrect procedure
- Wrong site surgery
- Leaving foreign objects in the patient’s body after surgery
- Operating on the wrong patient on the surgical table
Healthcare providers must treat their patients according to established standards of care. Failing to follow patient safety standards is considered malpractice.
Typically, these surgical errors occur due to human error or equipment failure, and they can have tragic consequences for the patient. A doctor or health care professional can make mistakes due to fatigue, stress, or simple negligence.
A Chicago Lawyer Can Help Injured Victims of Medical Malpractice
If you have severe injuries from a healthcare provider’s mistake, you can file a malpractice claim to pursue compensation for your damages.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys regularly work with medical experts on surgical error claims and nursing home neglect lawsuits.
All of our surgical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, with only a fee charged when we successfully obtain a recovery for you. If we do not get you a settlement, our services are free.
Call our medical malpractice legal team today and schedule a free case consultation through your free case evaluation.
Most Common Surgical Errors Leading to A Malpractice Claim
Our experienced Chicago, Illinois, surgical error attorneys can help make sense of your situation and distinguish between unavoidable surgical mistakes when providing appropriate care and those resulting from medical mistakes. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
The following types of Chicago surgical errors in the operating room merit further investigation and might be attributable to and can result in serious injuries or even death of the patient.
- Organs such as bowel perforation cuts or punctures that were not involved in the surgery
- Fractured bones with unknown origin
- Surgeons operating on the wrong body part (wrong-site surgical errors)
- Leaving surgical tools inside a patient’s body
- Nerve damage during surgery
- Surgical instruments left in the patient’s body
- Wrong patient errors, such as operating on the wrong person
- Anesthesiologist errors (anesthesia errors, incorrectly dosing anesthesia) lead to permanent brain injury.
- Burns of unknown origin
- Perforated organs
- Medication errors
- Wrong site surgery
- Accidental hemorrhage caused by lacerations and devastating injury to surrounding tissues
- Severe infection post-surgery
Making a preventable mistake, including an unnecessary surgery, violates the medical professional’s oath to “do no harm.” Many medical malpractice claims involve errors made by medical staff who violate their duty to treat patients with the utmost care.
Surgical Errors That Should Not Happen
Unfortunately, some federal healthcare regulators consider negligent medical mistakes as “never events,” meaning that they make surgical mistakes that should never happen, yet they do.
Wrong patients and wrong-site surgeries are not just urban legends. A misdiagnosis followed by an unnecessary procedure could create catastrophic results, leading to a malpractice claim.
A University of Colorado study  revealed the cause of such events. The researchers looked at twenty-five wrong patients and 107 wrong-site surgeries.
The study concluded the following were the causes of the misplaced surgeries:
- Judgment: The medical team’s judgment was involved in 85% of the wrong parts surgeries
- Communication: Poor communication was cited as a cause of the mistake in 100% of the wrong-person errors.
- Diagnosis: The diagnosis was listed as one of the causes of the surgeon’s mistake in over half of the wrong-person surgeries.
Surgical Errors Considered to Be ‘Never Events’
Other “never events” include leaving a foreign object inside a patient, operating on the wrong limb, and performing the incorrect procedure.
In a John Hopkins Medicine study of these events, researchers looking at surgical error cases found that at least 80,000 mistakes happened over two decades in the United States.
According to the Hopkins study , each week in America, an average of 39 foreign objects are left inside patients, 20 surgeries are performed on the wrong person, and 20 more surgeries are performed on the wrong part.
How Do the Courts Value Surgical Mistake Claims?
The plaintiff or their lawyer who specializes in surgery errors values the case, not the courts, when a surgical error claim is filed with the defendant’s insurance company, and no medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed with the justice system.
Creating an Affidavit of Merit
An affidavit of merit  is a document used in civil tort law to verify the validity of a claim. The affidavit of merit must be signed by an attorney who has knowledge of the case and states that they believe the claim has merit.
The affidavit of merit is used to show that the plaintiff has a valid legal claim and to help ensure that frivolous lawsuits are not filed.
The Negotiation Process
Nearly 95% of all medical malpractice claims are resolved through negotiated settlement meetings after the plaintiff’s attorney calculates the value of their client’s surgical error case.
The first step in this process is determining whether the medical malpractice claim has merit. If it does, the next step is to figure out what the potential value of the case may be. Calculating the case’s worth looks at several factors, such as:
- The severity of the injury
- How long it takes for the patient to recover
- How much money the patient needs to cover ongoing medical expenses for therapy/rehab, mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other damages
The Discovery Process
The discovery process is a critical stage in any civil tort case. Through the discovery process, both the plaintiff and the defendant share evidence to build their cases.
This evidence can include witness statements, documents, medical records , and other evidence that could be used in court.
If the court allows the case to proceed, the parties will begin discovery, exchanging information about the case, including current medical records.
Surgical Error Injuries FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions when dealing with medical malpractice claims and seeking compensation for damages.
Our Chicago surgical error lawyers have answered some common questions below. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form for additional information or schedule a free initial evaluation to discuss your surgical mistake situation.
What Went Wrong When a Surgical Error Occurs?
Surgical procedures can be dangerous. Unfortunately, many surgical errors are not realized until after the procedure is underway or completed when it becomes apparent that the surgical team was working on the incorrect patient, at the wrong part of the body, implanting the wrong device, or performing surgery that’s considered the wrong procedure.
Wrong-site surgery, medication errors, and other common medical mistakes may constitute medical malpractice.
Statistics show that anesthesiologists cause fatal surgical mistakes in America’s operating rooms.
Sometimes, the patient was given too much anesthesia during the surgical procedure (anesthesia errors) and awakened in horrible pain or suffering brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.
What Do You Do If Medical Professionals Make a Mistake During Surgery?
Every medical negligence victim has the legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their serious injuries.
Sometimes, a healthcare professional or surgical team is at fault for unnecessary serious injuries or even death and can be held legally and financially accountable.
An attorney working on your behalf can file all the necessary paperwork, represent you during a negotiated settlement, or prove your medical malpractice claim before a judge and jury.
What Is Surgical Negligence?
Any mistake caused by the negligent action of medical professionals, including the surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical team, or hospital, could be recognized as legal surgical error negligence.
Common cases claiming surgical negligence often involve surgeries where organs are damaged, nerve damage, improper sterilization, surgical instruments left inside the body causing further injuries, failure to address excessive bleeding, amputation of the wrong limb, and surgically-related organ damage, as well as others.
Is It a Crime When a Medical Professional Makes Mistakes?
Most medical malpractice cases are handled through civil courts.
In criminal cases, law enforcement and prosecutors file charges dealing with the perpetrator’s actions that usually end with a conviction or acquittal.
In civil cases, victims (plaintiffs) file cases against defendants dealing with the at-fault party’s actions that usually end with a negotiated settlement or a jury’s decision relieving the defendant’s responsibility.
Most malpractice cases are not part of the criminal process unless it can be proven that the medical professionals intentionally caused harm to their patient’s health and created different medical conditions.
Medical negligence victims and surviving family members who lost a loved one through death can file a civil surgical error lawsuit pursuing compensation from the doctor, medical team, surgical staff, or hospital.
Most crimes are caused by intent to cause harm to others. Alternatively, medical negligence is usually the result of an avoidable mistake.
How Do You Avoid Surgical Mistakes and Medical Errors?
All surgeries carry risks. Communication is key to avoiding common surgical errors involving an incorrect patient, a wrong surgical site on the patient’s body, damage to internal organs, leaving a foreign object when suturing, and improper sterilization. Before your surgery, tour the hospital facilities, and talk to your medical professionals.
Let family, friends, and the surgical team know why you are undergoing surgery, discuss the surgical procedures involved, the follow-up medical treatment required to heal, and ensure that your physician has initialed your surgical site.
The surgeon will speak with you before your procedure to confirm the site with them of the exact location where the surgery will be performed.
Have an advocate on your side before the procedure who will also speak with the surgeon and operating team to discuss the procedure on your behalf. Unnecessary surgery is considered medical negligence.
Experienced Chicago Surgical Error Lawyers Helping Victims
The Chicago surgical error lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC fully prosecute all malpractice cases against surgeons and health care providers through the law in Illinois or applicable jurisdiction.
When surgical mistakes result in the death of a loved one, family member, or spouse, we will pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a preventable death to recover compensation under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. 
Our personal injury lawyers offer a free case consultation for all medical malpractice victims to advise you on your legal options regarding a possible surgical error lawsuit. Contact our medical malpractice attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Contingency Fee Agreement
Our Chicago, IL, law offices will handle your lawsuit on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures that you pay our personal injury attorneys’ fee only if there is a recovery for you.
All discussions with our Chicago, IL, medical malpractice attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
With surgical errors being one of our practice areas, our law firm currently represents clients in the following localities: Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Peoria County, Naperville, and other cities in Chicagoland.