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, when physicians adhere to trusted techniques, the incidence of 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 Chicago surgical error lawyers have helped clients get compensation for a serious injury to their loved ones.
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, incorrect surgical procedure, incorrect surgical site, and leaving foreign objects in the patient's body after surgery.
These errors can occur due to human error or equipment failure, and they can have tragic consequences for the patient.
These types of surgical errors often occur due to human error. Doctors and other medical personnel can make mistakes due to fatigue, stress, or simple negligence.
To reduce the risk of these errors, hospitals and healthcare facilities should have standard protocols for every type of surgery. Surgeons and other medical personnel should be properly 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 malpractice cases and nursing home neglect lawsuits.
All of our surgical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where there is 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
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 error 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 a permanent brain injury.
- Burns of unknown origin
- Perforated internal organs
- Wrong site surgery
- Internal bleeding or excessive bleeding
- Accidental hemorrhage caused by lacerations and 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 an urban legend. A misdiagnosis followed by an unnecessary procedure could create catastrophic results.
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 part 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 of a patient, operating on the wrong limb, and performing the wrong procedure.
In a John Hopkins Medicine study of these events, researchers looking at surgical mistakes claims found that at least 80,000 of these 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 happening every day, it can only be speculated on 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 attorney value the case, not the courts, when a 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 to determine whether or not the case has any 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 is done by looking at several factors, such as:
- The severity of the injury,
- How long will it take for the patient to recover
- How much money will the patient need to cover medical costs 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. If they cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to trial.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process is a key stage in any civil tort case. Through the discovery process, both the plaintiff and the defendant share evidence with each other 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
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.
What To Expect When The Case Is Finally Over
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case can expect a lengthy and difficult 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 large 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 the severity of their injuries and other factors such as medical expenses and lost wages.
How A Surgical Error Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a Chicago surgical error lawyer specializing in resolving medical malpractice claims is important 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.
Out reputable law firm can negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant's attorney. If the case goes to trial, we will be there every step to ensure you have the best chance of winning.
Chicago Surgical Error Injuries FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to surgical mistakes. We invite you to call us for a free initial evaluation to discuss your surgical mistake situation.
What Happens if a Surgery Goes Wrong?
p>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 the most fatal surgical mistakes in America's operating rooms.
In some cases, 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.
What to Do If a Medical Professional Makes a Mistake During Surgery?
Every victim of medical negligence has a legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their serious injuries.
In many cases, the doctor or surgical team is at fault for the 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.
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 further 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, not jail time.
How Do You Avoid Surgical Mistakes?
Communication is key to avoiding a surgical error involving the incorrect patient, 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 him or her of the exact location where the procedure 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 normal rates of complications. 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 Lawyer Helping Victims of Surgical Errors
The Chicago surgical error lawyers 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. Please contact our medical malpractice attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) 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 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.
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