All medical procedures have some sort of risk associated with them. For some patients, that can make it difficult to know whether they’ve experienced a surgical error or just an expected, inherent risk. If you believe you were the victim of a surgical mistake, you can meet with one of our skilled surgical error attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC to see if you qualify for compensation.
A surgical error is often defined as “a preventable mistake.” This means that whatever happened was not a known or expected risk of the procedure. Rather, the error resulted from someone’s negligence.
Surgical errors are often referred to as “never” events. Meaning, they should never, ever happen. Even one mistake is one too many. A recent medical study published in “Medical Error Reduction and Prevention” found that at least 4,000 surgical errors occur in the U.S. each year.
Understanding how and why these mistakes happen is key to preventing them. When negligence is the cause of your injury after a medical procedure, the surgeon, hospital, or medical facility may try to downplay what happened. There can be a culture of “cover-ups,” causing health professionals to be hesitant to speak out against their colleagues for fear of job loss, demotion, or a hostile work environment. Junior doctors can easily be intimidated or even feel threatened by their senior colleagues.
If you suspect you experienced an error, no matter how minor, it is worth speaking with one of our experienced DC medical malpractice lawyers. After hearing the details of your specific situation, we will let you know if you have a legal case. Contact a DC surgical error lawyer at Regan Zambri Long today for a free case review.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has stated that the most common examples of surgical mistakes:
Some of the more common types of surgical errors that can occur are:
Some surgical errors may be quickly caught and remedied. Or, you may not find out there was a mistake until much later on. And for other patients, the error is immediately noticeable and will have lifelong consequences.
Many surgical mistakes are the result of human error; either someone made a mistake or the medical professional failed to take necessary action. In either circumstance, a trusted surgeon or medical professional didn’t do their job and now you are suffering the consequences.
Surgical mistakes can arise because of the following factors:
Surgical errors can be a complex matter. It is possible that more than one factor is at play when operating room errors occur.
To complicate matters, there may also be the prevailing attitude that a surgeon should never be questioned. Operating room staff may notice an error or discrepancy during the procedure. However, they may be “shot down” by the surgeon or even feel uneasy pointing out errors for fear of retaliation.
As you can imagine, surgical malpractice can cause devastating consequences. Not only can it be life-threatening but could result in additional medical problems. The injury victim could need additional surgeries to fix the error, resulting in extensive medical bills and lost time at work.
Other consequences surrounding surgical negligence include:
Nerve damage during surgery occurs when some or all of the fibers surrounding a nerve are killed or the nerve is torn. Symptoms of nerve damage include a tingling or burning sensation, numbness, or muscle weakness. Many times, nerve damage lasts for a couple of months. But when it lasts longer, it is considered permanent and further treatment will be needed to repair the nerve.
Organ damage can happen when an organ is either punctured or perforated during surgery. It can be a simple slip of the surgeon’s hand or a tear from a surgical instrument during the procedure. When an organ is damaged during surgery, it can lead to severe, life-long health problems and can even cause death.
Scarring and disfigurement may occur after cosmetic surgery. Depending on the location and visibility of the scarring, it can cause the injury victim to feel self-conscious and affect their daily lives. It could hurt their relationship and may make it hard to get a job. Further cosmetic surgery is usually needed to cover up or remove the disfigurement.
The ability to prove that you were a medical malpractice victim is difficult without legal representation. Doctors may be hesitant to speak out against one other. Staff may fear losing their jobs or even their professional licenses if they admit a mistake.
The negligent medical facility may try to convince you that what happened was an expected or routine risk when in fact it was not. Hospital administrators do not want the negative attention that a lawsuit can bring. Their reputation, as well as finances, are on the line.
A Washington, DC medical malpractice lawyer who is experienced with surgical errors knows what questions to ask. They know what it takes for paperwork, documentation, as well as eyewitness testimony to be released. A subpoena, search warrant, or other types of legal action may need to take place to discover the full nature of your surgical error.
At Regan Zambri Long, our attorneys will help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Many personal injury cases like surgical errors settle outside of court. We are prepared and experienced with going to trial if that means getting the best results for you.
The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to depends on the nature of the error, the severity of its impact, as well as how the error affects your life going forward. You can expect to receive a settlement that includes:
The most serious surgical errors result in death or your loved one needing 24/7 care. The gravity of these types of outcomes should be reflected in your settlement. Our recent case results speak for themselves. We work hard to pursue justice for our clients.
Under most jurisdictions, you have a limited amount of time to pursue a legal claim. The Washington, DC statute of limitations sets forth the amount of time you have to pursue such a legal case.
Typically, the clock starts ticking the day the error occurred or when the patient was made aware of the mistake. However, there are many factors at play in medical malpractice claims, especially if death was involved.
As soon as you suspect that you or a loved one were the victims of a surgical error, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
It is difficult to know ahead of time how long a medical mistake case will take. Oftentimes, the more serious your injuries are, the longer your case will take to complete.
Other factors that impact how long a case can take include:
When you hire us, we’ll be with you every step of the way. And because you don’t have to pay us until after you receive your settlement, you can receive legal representation without incurring more bills.
It may seem that preventing a surgical error is completely out of a patient’s control, but it is not. There are some steps that you can take prior to undergoing surgery.
Patients have the right to seek a second opinion, choose to receive care at another facility, as well as have all of their questions answered before surgery.
At Regan Zambri Long, our entire practice is dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients who were negligently injured. With decades of experience and with registered nurses on staff, we have the knowledge and the resources necessary to fight these complex medical malpractice cases.
We work on a contingency basis — this means that you do not owe us a fee until your case is either settled or reaches a verdict. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.