Chicago Surgical Error Lawyer
The trust we instill in a physician and their medical team is beyond comparison when we undergo a surgical procedure and place our lives in their hands.
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 Chicago medical malpractice law firm ready to prosecute preventable surgical error cases involving a serious injury or death of someone you love to the fullest extent of the law in Illinois.
With our years of experience, our specialized Chicago surgical error law firm has helped clients get compensation for severe injuries to their loved ones. Contact our personal injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for a legal consultation.
What Is A Surgical Error?
Surgical errors devastate injured patients because they can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. Some surgical errors include incorrect patient identification, too little anesthesia, incorrect surgical procedure, incorrect surgical site, leaving foreign objects in the patient's body after surgery, and even having the wrong patient on the surgical table!
These errors can occur due to human error or equipment failure, and they can have tragic consequences for the patient.
Doctors and other medical personnel can make mistakes due to fatigue, stress, or simple negligence.
To reduce the risk of a completely preventable mistake, hospitals and health care providers should have standard protocols for every type of surgery. Surgeons and other medical personnel should be adequately trained to execute these protocols.
Lawyers for Injured Victims of Surgical Malpractice
If you have serious injuries from a health care provider's mistake, you can file a medical malpractice claim pursuing 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 consultation and your free case evaluation.
Medical Practitioners' Deviation from Good Surgical Care
Since surgeries carry risks, surgeons are not responsible for all procedure complications or “bad outcomes.”
However, surgeons are responsible for common surgical errors in the operating room when their negligence results in permanent disability and even death.
Many surgical mistakes or surgical error cases are considered “deviations from the standard of care” when the physician fails to act reasonably or commits medical errors due to poor communication with the hospital staff.
Types of Surgical Errors Leading to A Medical 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 surgical errors merit further investigation and might be attributable to medical malpractice and can result in serious injuries or even death of the patient.
- Organs such as bowel perforation cuts or punctures were not involved in the surgery.
- Fractured bones with unknown origin
- Surgeons operating on the wrong body part (wrong-site errors)
- Nerve damage during surgery
- Surgical instruments left in the body
- Anesthesiologist errors (anesthesia errors) lead to permanent brain injury.
- Burns of unknown origin
- Perforated internal organs
- Wrong site surgery
- Internal bleeding or excessive bleeding
- Accidental hemorrhage caused by lacerations and serious injury to surrounding tissues
- Severe post-surgical infection
Making a preventable mistake, including an unnecessary surgery, violates the medical professional oath to “do no harm.” Many medical malpractice claims involve errors made by surgical staff who violate their duty to treat patients with the utmost care.
Surgical Errors That Simply 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 medical 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 patient errors.
- Diagnosis: The diagnosis was listed as one of the causes of the surgeon’s mistake in over half of the wrong patient 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 objects are left inside patients, 20 surgeries are performed on the wrong person, and 20 more surgeries are performed on the wrong part.
With so many procedure errors every day, it can only be speculated how many other surgical mistakes are made during a patient's preoperative and post-surgical care.
How Do The Courts Value Surgical Error Claims
The plaintiff or their Chicago surgical error lawyer value the case, not the courts, when a surgical error claim is filed with the defendant’s insurance company, and no lawsuit has been filed with the justice system.
When a plaintiff's attorney calculates the value of a surgical mistake case, they will typically seek a negotiated settlement rather than going to court. This decision is based on the knowledge that most medical malpractice claims are resolved through negotiated settlements after the plaintiff's attorney has determined the value of their case.
By seeking a negotiated settlement, the plaintiff and defendant can avoid the costs and uncertainties of a trial.
Additionally, settlements typically result in a more favorable outcome for the plaintiff than would be available through a court judgment.
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 will take for the patient to recover
- How much money will the patient need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages
Once the case's value is determined, the plaintiff's attorney will reach out to the defendant's attorney to see if they are interested in settling. If both parties are amenable to a settlement, they will usually meet in person to discuss possible terms. The case will go to trial if they cannot agree to settlel.
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. The discovery process helps to ensure that both sides have all of the relevant information available to them, and it allows both sides to question witnesses and ask for clarification on any potential evidence.
The discovery process is necessary to ensure a fair trial for both parties.
Litigating Medical Malpractice Claims
The plaintiff and defendants will litigate a medical malpractice case to resolve the claim for financial compensation. The plaintiff will file a complaint with the court, alleging that the defendant was negligent in their treatment of the plaintiff.
The defendant will file a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that they were not negligent in their treatment of the plaintiff. The court will hold a hearing on the motion to dismiss and will determine whether or not to allow the case to proceed.
If the court allows the case to proceed, the parties will begin discovery, exchanging information about the case, including past medical records. The parties will also attend a pretrial conference, where they will discuss any settlement offers that have been made.
If the parties cannot reach a settlement, they will go to trial. The jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide whether or not the defendant was negligent in their treatment of the plaintiff. If the jury finds that the defendant was negligent, they will award damages to the plaintiff.
Expect a Lengthy Process
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case can expect a lengthy and challenging process that may take many years to resolve. If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff can expect a long and emotional process, with the possibility of a jury awarding a sizeable financial settlement or judgment.
In most cases, however, the parties will reach a negotiated settlement before trial. In a negotiated settlement, the plaintiff can expect to receive a financial award based on their medical records, the severity of their injuries, and other factors such as medical expenses and lost wages.
What To Expect When The Case Is Finally Over
If you agree to a settlement, you will sign papers that waive future claims against the surgeon and their medical malpractice insurer. Your attorney will receive the amount from the insurance policy.
If your attorney takes your case on a contingency fee basis, they will be reimbursed from the settlement according to the terms of the fee arrangement you made with them at the beginning of the claim.
The attorney will settle other financial obligations, such as group insurance claims or hospital-placed liens. After that, they will send you the remaining money.
The insurer could appeal a decision in your favor if you won a lawsuit. You might have to wait longer to get paid if you file an appeal. Your attorney will continue to offer legal services to prepare you and your case for the appellate process.
After hearing your case, the appellate court may decide to uphold the lower court's ruling, which would mean you win; reverse the verdict, which would mean you lose; or remand the case for a new trial.
The lengthy and expensive process of trials and appeals is one of the primary reasons that most medical malpractice cases are settled.
How A Surgical Error Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a Chicago surgical error lawyer specializing in resolving medical malpractice claims is essential because they will have the experience and expertise to get you the best possible outcome. An experienced attorney will know what evidence to gather and how to build your case.
Our reputable law firm can negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant's attorney. If the medical malpractice claim goes to trial, we will be there every step to ensure you have the best chance of winning.
How Long You Have to File a Lawsuit
The Illinois personal injury statute of limitations typically gives you two years from the date of the negligent act or omission to initiate a claim if medical malpractice causes you harm. Your claim will expire, and you will be permanently prevented from pursuing it if you don't file a lawsuit within that period.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, one of which is likely to apply in the event of a surgical error.
You'll probably become aware of it immediately if a knife slip causes severe injuries. But what if a professional make the careless mistake of not removing a sponge or a clamp from within your body before you are stitched up?
It may go unnoticed for weeks, months, or even years. The two-year window would then close on the day you realized or should have realized the mistake. The same holds for any other careless deed or omission you aren't instantly aware of.
Chicago Surgical Error Injuries FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to surgical mistakes and medical malpractice. We invite you to call us for a free initial evaluation to discuss your surgical mistake situation.
What Happens if a Surgery Goes Wrong?
Any medical procedure can be dangerous. Unfortunately, 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 body part, implanting the wrong device, or performing the wrong procedure.
These common types of 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.
Other times, the patient was given too little anesthesia causing them to wake up during the surgery. It has also happened that the anesthesiologist failed to account for the impact of anesthesia on the individual's blood pressure or the blood supply to the patient's brain.
What to Do If a Medical Professional Makes a Mistake During Surgery?
Every victim of medical malpractice has the legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their serious injuries.
Sometimes, the doctor 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 the surgeon, anesthesiologist, medical 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.
Who Is To Blame?
Typically, every step of your procedure is recorded, but understanding every entry takes a working knowledge of medical jargon. We have medical professionals who can analyze your procedure to ascertain precisely what transpired and why you haven't received a direct response.
The hospital and the lead surgeon supervise every person involved in your surgery. As a result, a sponge that a nurse left in your abdomen will become a liability for both the doctor and the hospital.
We assist in identifying the person or thing responsible for the surgical error. There have been instances where the manufacturer of the device the doctor implanted provided a faulty product, and the doctor was unaware of it.
Can Doctors Go to Jail for Medical Mistakes?
No. Medical malpractice cases are handled through civil courts. They 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.
Victims of medical malpractice 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, or hospital.
How Do You Avoid Surgical Mistakes?
Communication is key to avoiding a surgical error involving an incorrect patient, a wrong surgical site, and improper sterilization. Before your surgery, tour the hospital facilities, and talk to your medical professionals.
Let family, friends, and the medical team know why you are undergoing surgery, and make sure 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.
If possible, 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.
What Surgeries Are Associated With The Highest Rate Of Complications?
While any medical treatment can result in complications, the following surgical procedures have higher than average rates of complications that can result in a medical malpractice suit.
According to Healthcare Business & Technology, they are considered the riskiest surgeries leading to medical malpractice.
- Surgical Ventricular Restoration
- Spinal Osteomyelitis Surgery
- Coronary Revascularization
- Bladder Cystectomy
- Thoracic Aortic Dissection Repair
- Septal Myotomy
- Bariatric surgeries/Gastric Bypass
Defective Drugs & Devices Resources:
Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers Helping Victims of Surgical Errors
The Chicago surgical error attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC fully prosecute all medical malpractice against surgeons and health care providers' claims to the fullest extent of 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.
Our Chicago, IL, law offices will handle your medical malpractice lawsuit on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures that you pay our personal injury attorneys’ fee-only charges only if there is a recovery for you.
All discussions with our Chicago, IL, medical malpractice lawyers 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.
- Surgical Site Infection Lawsuit
- Collapsed Lung After Surgery
- Surgical Puncture Lawsuit
- Post-Operative Hemorrhage Lawsuit
- Nerve Damage From Surgical Error
- Gallbladder Surgical Error Lawyer
- Plastic Surgery Fatality Malpractice
- Bowel Perforation Lawsuit
- Gastric Bypass Malpractice Lawsuit
- Laparoscopic Surgery Malpractice
- Outpatient Surgery Malpractice
- Laser Spine Surgery